Should I use Linux instead of Windows?
To answer this question I will assume that Linux is understood as short for “GNU/Linux distribution for personal computers” (tower or laptop).
I will also distinguish four cases:
- a “basic” home user (without computer knowledge, just needing a classical office use)
For the 4th case, developers, the question doesn’t even arise: even Visual Studio is available on Linux and most programming languages are native. It is rare to see a pro dev not running on Linux
For the third, public institutions, the subject is changing, big players are switching to Linux OS: even if Munich has backed off following the installation of… the German headquarters of Microsoft at their place, today, Madrid & Barcelona, for example are applying the principles of the movement “public money, public code”
For the second, the enterprises, the simple principles of security and independence/control of data make the deployment of at least part of the park under Linux obvious.
There are few cases where recent pro software is not available as a SaaS (the main obstacle to switching to Linux in companies was the business application only available on Windows)
For the first one (the use by a private individual which seems to be the case of study suggested by the question), the availability of very simple distributions and quite accessible to the general public also allows to answer affirmatively: apart from some cases of specific use (gaming… and still), a computer under Xubuntu, Manjaro Xfce, or even Linux Mint will allow the private individual:
- to do everything he needs with otherwise free software
- to limit or even cancel the obsolescence of his computer
- not have to pay for antivirus or other optimization tools
All this with a confounding simplicity of use.
The additional advantage is that, if under Windows everyone has the right to the same tool (too bad if you don’t like it), under Gnu Linux, in a few clicks you create the most efficient environment for yourself.
Linux can be tested from a DVD or a USB key before installing it, you can eventually install it in “dual boot” (i.e. keeping Windows). That’s how I started… and after a month I realized that I had never used Windows again!
A complete installation takes about 2 hours and nowadays, Linux is widespread enough that you can easily find a relative, a “Linux sponsor” or even a professional who will help or even install your computer.
So YES! Switching from Windows to Linux is now an evidence in most cases ! 🙂