Windows 7 runs much more stable than the crash-plagued Windows 95 and, while it’s largely a matter of taste, it looks much better than XP. So why would you want to replace Windows?
There’s little doubt that Windows is a very solid operating system built by a lot of IT experts with decades of experience under their belt. But on the other hand, one does not really know in which direction Windows or Microsoft as a whole is going. With the release of Windows 8, it seems that they are moving away from the PC market and are poised to dominate the phone app and software industry.
Others wonder how Microsoft’s three-digit prices are justified in an era of $2.99-apps. Such a comparison is not quite right, but it is true that Windows is anything but affordable.
Security Is a Major Concern
There is another argument against using Windows: security. The majority of virus writers, hackers, etc., have zeroed in on Windows and the programs that are compatible with it. After all, Windows is the most common operating system. It makes sense for cyber-criminals to focus their efforts on Windows users since it has the largest pool of potential victims.
There are many more reasons why someone would want to use another operating system aside from Windows. Whatever your reasons are, let me show you what options you have.
Operating Systems and Virtual PCs
A lot of people have made the switch to Linux. This is especially true for big companies that run a lot of servers (ex.: webhosting). Linux is open source (free!) and doesn’t have as many security holes as Windows since most hackers and viruses are built to exploit Windows’ vulnerabilities.
When it comes to transitioning to a new operating system, you can give your system a complete overhaul – completely replace Windows with Linux or another operating system. But admit it or not, we have all grown accustomed to Windows, and a complete overhaul might be too much. If this is your situation, you can go for a partial transition, so to speak. For example, you can use a virtual second PC or you can install a new operating system next to Windows. At startup, you can choose which operating system you want to run.
Here’s a brief list of tools and OS that are not as popular as Microsoft’s Windows but can be just as useful and easy to use:
Ubuntu is a full Linux operating system. Its edge against other Linux-based OS is that its user interface is a lot easier and intuitive. But make no mistake about it, Ubuntu is as feature-rich and secure as its Linux brothers.
Anyone who wants to try another operating system without completely taking Windows out of the picture should check Virtual Box out. It allows you to create virtual second PC where you can install a different operating system and other non-Windows programs.
If you are captivated by Apple Mac’s interface, checking out this freeware is a MUST. It’s not really a different operating system. Rather, it replaces the Windows interface we have grown accustomed to with a Mac interface.
Kernel is the basis of any operating system. This Linux Kernel contains, among many others, most of the drivers necessary for installing new hardware and getting it work. Be warned, however, that Linux Kernal is meant for professionals who compile programs and applications.
Knoppix is another Linux-based system that contains a collection of GNU/Linux software, which automatically recognizes a huge variety of hardware components.