Not nearly as vulnerable to viruses. Most viruses were written to attack Windows systems.”To mess up a Linux box, you need to work at it; to mess up your Windows box, you just need to work on it,” writes SecurityFocus columnist Scott Granneman.
Does not get web bugs or spyware from surfing the Internet. “Spyware is the worst problem effecting Windows based computers. In addition to running an anti-virus program constantly, Windows users also need an anti-Spyware program constantly running in the background to protect them.” — Michael Horowitz from his page Linux vs. Windows “There are about 60,000 viruses known for Windows, 40 or so for the Macintosh, about 5 for commercial Unix versions, and perhaps 40 for Linux. Most of the Windows viruses are not important, but many hundreds have caused widespread damage. Two or three of the Macintosh viruses were widespread enough to be of importance. None of the Unix or Linux viruses became widespread – most were confined to the laboratory.” Quote from Dr. Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell’s Analysis of the Impact of Open Source Software (PDF format only)
Windows needs 3rd party applications to keep it in shape. Linux needs none! When I maintain Windows boxes, I install and run a registry cleaner, install an antivirus program, install 2 different spybot cleaners, and, if Windows 2000, install a firewall – all non MS products. Linux comes already equiped with everything you need to run it efficiently. It doesn’t slow down over time.