A window of opportunity : thanks to Microsoft, I discovered Linux

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Microsoft and Linux, a game of cat and mouse?

As the fatal day was drawing near, I felt I was faced with no choice. My PC and my laptop were still running on Microsoft XP and I thought I was the loneliest person in the world still using this OS. As a matter of fact, I was not,  as I found out that XP was up to this date the second most popular OS used on the Internet (Gulf News, April 3, 2014). Besides, many state computers are still running on XP (as much as 20 % that won’t be upgraded in time, according to Connecticut newspaper The Courant). Most do not seem to fear the deadline. Almost 95 % of ATM are still working under XP and do not intend to upgrade to Windows 8, for budgetary reasons. Cyber criminals must be rubbing their hands together.

It seemed obvious that Microsoft wanted to sell its latest Windows 8 or 8.1, so XP was consequently declared obsolete. After all, the system was outdated, 13 years old actually. Quite a career for an OS. The provided extended support was considered as a favor to XPers.

There’s a world

outside your Windows

And there we were left with a running computer but an Operating System to get rid of. Besides, installing the new Windows on old hardwares, might be tricky as old PC’s or laptops might not be able to operate on a boosted OS. Which leaves consumers facing a dilemma :

  • buy an older Windows version supposedly working on your not-so-young-computer ;
  • throw away your PC and replace it with a brand new one fit for Windows 8 and up ;
  • or choosing a lighter and free open source OS which will work perfectly on your machine = Linux or one of its byproducts as Ubuntu or Xubuntu. The two OS I picked for my PC and my laptop.

Not an easy option probably because we have been brainwashed and purchasing a new PC usually means buying Microsoft products too. As years went by and my laptop was wearing out, it became harder to convey standard tasks. My laptop was working so slowly that it looked like it was dragging heavy chained-cannonballs. Microsoft’s decision to give upon XP, really sparked my interest in Linux. I wouldn’t have thought trying the open source OS before, because it seemed too intricate, too specialized and I was not a computer geek at all. Most computers come with Windows, whether you want it or not : Windows is being imposed. So we do not generally mess up with our OS and follow Microsoft’s rules. Most of us are not techies and will go for the simplest solutions.

The truth is Linux is not as terrible as it sounds. And there are many reasons to rejoice, I will list five of them.

  1. The good news is : if I can do it, there are many chances that you will also be able to switch to Linux or one of his numerous byproducts. I suppose there is a “Linux” for everyone, some are meant for beginners, some for experts.
  2. It’s been two weeks since I have made the transmigration and I’m more than satisfied. My laptop has finally met the Fountain of Youth. It has never been so swift. When I ask for an application, it comes. Right away. When I want to turn it off for good, I just click on “turn off” and 10 seconds or so afterwards, the laptop goes to sleep. On Windows, I had to do this silly move : click on “Start” to turn it off!
  3. Windows virus are ineffective on Linux and hackers are probably busy hacking Microsoft. Linux barely hits 1,5 % among desktop users.
  4. Most Windows softwares have open source alternatives.
  5. Oh yes and it’s free of charge.

Open windows, get some fresh air from outside and step in another world… I think I should take a walk in the real world now but this is another challenge.

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