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How to choose an operating system (OS) for a PC

Windows now has serious competition

The world has changed when it comes to operating systems for a PC. Windows is no longer the be all and end all of operating systems for a PC. As it should be. Most people today use their PC for their Internet browser which doesn't care what OS it runs on. In fact the browsers themselves aren't from Windows - Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Opera have run Windows Explorer out of town! Let's see how the new Windows browser Edge is received. Further with web based software and cloud computing that keeps the choice of OS wide open.

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Apple and Google's operating systems

There has been an attitude shift where people are now comfortable using any OS. Part of this comes from their use of smartphones and tablets, where they use Apple's iOS and Google's Android and Chrome OS, and like using them. Apple's success with smartphones have also made Apple's computers and laptops more popular and they run their own operating system, OS X Yosemite. All this has made people comfortable with using any OS and not just Windows.

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Linux has evolved for the desktop

Certainly Linux has evolved as a personal computer OS, becoming easy and attractive to use. It has always been one of the most powerful and flexible operating systems anyway, common on servers, smartphones and tablets. Let's not forget Google's Android and Chrome OS are built on top of Linux. Linux being free makes it an easy choice for your desktop PC. See our review on why it's time for Linux on your pc.

Many distros of Linux

Linux has several versions called distributions or distros for short. A couple of the more popular ones are Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora. You can check the popularity ranking of the many Linux distros at distro watch. Linux distros come with an incredible choice of free software packages or apps - Firefox browser, LibreOffice a full office suite, music and video players and much more.

Windows

With regard to Windows I'm not sure how well the Windows 8.1 strategy of combining the touch screen capabilities of smartphones and tablets with a desktop OS and also getting rid of the Start button was received in the market. Apple for example has separate OS versions for its mobile devices and its computers. Windows 10 is out now, let's see how it is received in the marketplace.

Recommendations

That leaves Windows with the shrinking advantage of those software applications written exclusively for the Windows platform. But remember there's almost always a free native Linux application for the same need and there's also Wine on Linux where you can run some Windows applications on Linux. Windows clearly has the disadvantage of not being free and at around $200 for the Windows 10 Pro version and $120 for the Windows 10 Home version, that's a problem that can easily be avoided with free Linux.

Windows XP is still a solid work horse on existing computers and doesn't need to be upgraded to Windows 10, in spite of all the noise made about the end of support for XP. I didn't think the world was going to end and it didn't. However I would recommend upgrading Windows XP to free Linux thereby extending the life of your PC for free. Here's our step by step instructions on how to download and install a free Linux distribution. You can do the same for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, upgrade to Linux for free.

For a new PC if one needs Windows for a specific purpose, say a game title, that requires Windows, Windows 10 would be the version to get. Otherwise I would certainly install free Linux on a new PC. Linux Mint is a great option. You've used Windows you'll be very comfortable with Linux Mint, and it's free!

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Linux interest and tech freedom articles!

Microsoft to cut thousands of jobs across divisions - reports - Reuters, January 17, 2023

Elon Musk says he'd consider 'alternative phone' if Twitter is booted from Apple and Google app stores - Fox Business, November 25, 2022
CurrentBuild Computer and other Linux PC manufacturers have already done that with computers, provided an alternative to Windows and Apple computers. Kamil

Microsoft lays off hundreds of employees - Engadget, October 18, 2022

Microsoft: 'Software is ultimately the biggest deflationary force' for businesses - Yahoo Finance, October 17, 2022:
Open source free software like Linux yes is deflationary, Microsoft not really. Kamil

Microsoft’s greed is killing Windows 11 for me - TechRadar, April 21st, 2022:

March 21st, 2022: Windows 11 will add a watermark if you use unsupported hardware - engadget

Dec 2, 2021: Microsoft’s new Windows prompts try to stop people downloading Chrome - The Verge

Oct 8, 2021: Amazon Delivery Partners Rage Against the Machines: ‘We Were Treated Like Robots’ - Yahoo Finance

Sep 10, 2021: Epic v. Apple ruling: Judge finds Apple's App Store restrictions violate antitrust law - Yahoo Finance

Aug 28, 2021: Why You Suddenly Need To Delete Google Chrome - Forbes

FTC says Facebook has been a monopoly ‘since at least 2011’ in amended antitrust complaint - The Verge

Windows 11 Is Making It Absurdly Difficult to Change Browsers - GIZMODO

What the Linux Mint developers have pulled off is nothing short of astounding - TechRepublic

Fired by Bot at Amazon: ‘It’s You Against the Machine’ - Bloomberg News

PC users are furious about the new Windows 11 design - Creative Bloq

Epic v. Apple fight: Billions at stake as judge determines fate of App Store - Yahoo!

Google reportedly made it difficult for smartphone users to find privacy settings - The Verge

I looked at all the ways Microsoft Teams tracks users and my head is spinning - ZDNet

Microsoft just force restarted my Windows PC again to install more unwanted apps - The Verge

Disastrous Windows 10 update is reportedly breaking some PCs - TechRadar

With Edge, Microsoft’s forced Windows updates just sank to a new low - The Verge

A million students and counting have learned Linux - ZDNet

Linux Mint 20: Still the best Linux desktop despite one quirk - ZDNet

What Operating System Is the Best Choice for Software Engineers? - Interesting Engineering
From the article "GNU/Linux is, hands down, the most highly acclaimed operating system for software engineering."

Microsoft: we were wrong about open source - The Verge

How to choose PC parts

CPU Video card Memory
Motherboard SSD/HDD DVD CD
Power supply Case OS
Speakers Monitor Linux

How to assemble a PC

PC assembly guide
PC assembly project
High Performance Everyday PC build
Premium Everyday PC build
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Gaming PC build
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Workstation Computer build
Save with Linux on a PC
How to choose PC parts
Dual boot Linux and Windows
Upgrade to SSD project
Transfer data from old PC to new PC

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