2 Linux Operating Systems Similar to Windows
Yes You Can Move Away from Microsoft!
Some of us shy away from the idea of Linux as an operating system because we think of it as toiling away with some sort of geeky command line prompt. Linux has come a long way since those days and there are now 2 Linux operating systems that if you were to take the leap, would be immediately familiar to Windows users. They both have the same and in some ways even easier, point and click desktop environment. After all, an operating system is merely a way to access features and programmes on your computer. It is the programmes that are the important bit and not the operating system itself.
So Why are we Fixated on Microsoft Windows?
Let’s face it. The idea that Windows is the only operating system for the masses has been brainwashed into us by a company that maintains a huge monopoly in the market. They use this monopoly in every way possible to squeeze us into purchasing updated packages and compatible productivity software. What is more, they turn over a huge profit from it.
Is it all worth it though? I run 2 computers. One has the latest Windows 7 package and the other Windows XP. To be perfectly honest, there is virtually nothing I can do on Windows 7 that I cannot do on XP and yet I too have been taken in by marketing that tells me that I simply must have the latest, greatest Windows. And of course, after Windows 7, Windows 8 is already in Beta testing.
So what exactly do we use our computer for? In the main, it is a productivity tool, a communication device and a media device for entertainment like music and video. So is there anything we can do with a Windows that we cannot do with the latest Linux operating systems that are similar to Windows? I have been experimenting and I can tell you that there is nothing you can do on Windows that you cannot do just as easily on Linux
Venturing into the free world of Linux
I also have a third outdated laptop that I decided to use to experiment with Linux to see if I could take the plunge and free myself from the extortionate prison that is Microsoft. After researching carefully I came up with 2 Linux operating systems that are similar to Windows.
1. Linux Mint
Linux Mint developed from the Ubuntu Linux distro with ease of use in mind. It is an excellent alternative to Windows with a desktop environment that will be immediately familiar to Windows users. Straight out of the box it fired up all of my hardware. I was able to navigate with ease to all the features I need and I was immediately comfortable using it.
Check out my separate article in which I review Linux Mint as free operating system that is similar to Windows and discuss programmes that can output Microsoft documents.
This operating system is a fork of Mandriva. It is very intuitive and user friendly with enhanced hardware support including proprietary drivers already installed for most video, wireless and printing hardware devices. The list of features is very impressive and once again as a lifelong Windows user I had no problem at all transitioning across.
Check out my separate article in which I review PCLinuxOS as a free operating system that is similar to Windows.
The first thing I wanted to do was to install the operating system and see if it fired up the audio, visual and functional aspects like screen, audio output and wifi of my laptop straight out of the box. The answer to that was yes. Both Linux operating systems carry a huge range of device drivers. After all, these drivers are not exclusive to Microsoft and any operating system can access them.
Secondly I wanted to see how easy it was to install the programmes I need for productivity and entertainment. Again I found that there was no problem at all in obtaining the programmes I need to continue to use my laptop as an entertainment centre and also as a productivity tool. There is a free alternative for just about every programme that you currently pay heavily for when your computer umbilical cord is attached to Microsoft. If you worry about compatibility you can try most of them from your Windows system. To start with you could try the fantastic Openoffice which allows you to ouput all of your office, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in MS Office format as well as universal formats like PDF
Linux uses a package manager to install programmes you choose from a central repository. If anything, it is a much simpler system than the downloading and installing that you are probably used to. Again it is all available with point and click functionality accessed directly from a menu.
Having ventured into the world of free Linux operating systems that are similar to Windows, I have to say that I am convinced. I intend to keep one of my laptops running a Linux system and when Microsoft stop supporting my Windows 7 installation, I will refuse to be drawn back into the ever increasing expense of sticking with their latest, greatest operating system