Windows XP is dead, well almost. Starting 8th April, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP. Which means you won’t be getting any type of updates including security which will make your system even more vulnerable. So, you might be thinking what to do after Windows XP support ends? If you take my suggestion, I would say switch to Linux. And I will give you ten reasons why you should switch to Linux from Windows XP.
Why switch to Linux from Windows?
There are a plethora of reasons to choose desktop Linux over Windows or even Mac. Here I list 10 of the best reasons why you should consider Linux over Windows 8.1 upgrade:
1. It’s free
Microsoft will force you to upgrade to Windows 8.1 which mean you’ll have to spend around $120 just for the OS.
Linux OS on the other hand is completely free. If you choose to switch to Linux, you save at least hundred bucks. Sounds good enough a reason, ain’t it?
2. More Secure, no need of any antivirus
In Windows you cannot live without an antivirus. Even with an antivirus product, your system is continuously at risk of catching virus. If you had a premium antivirus, it would keep on alerting you of a possible threat detection.
In Linux you don’t need an antivirus. Virus and malware are alien to Linux world. Linux is known for its security features. Switching to Linux will save you some more as you won’t have to buy an antivirus.
3. Compatible with lower end hardware
A good reason why you have been running Windows XP for such a long time could be hardware constraints. Upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 requires at least 1GB of RAM. Running Windows 7/8 on the minimum configuration will be a real painful experience as it will be extremely slow and almost unusable. And if your system configuration doesn’t meet the minimum criteria you will have no option other than buying a new PC.
Welcome to Linux world. There is a Linux OS for everyone. Most of the Linux OS does not require a heavyweight computer system. But even if your system is one of those of late 90’s or early 2000’s, there are plenty of extreme lightweight Linux distributions. In other words, hardware is no constraint for Linux OS.
4. Ease of use
The one misconception about Linux is that it is “geeks only” and one needs to be computer genius and command line ninja to use Linux. No, it is not true. It is not late 90’s where Linux was a complicated operating system. These days desktop Linux OSes run out of the box, have GUI tools and have all the functionality that you look for in Windows.
5. Drivers included
As a Windows user, you must have struggled with drivers. Finding the correct driver for your system was a difficult task. I remember, I had several drivers folder in my external backup disk as I did not want to waste time looking for the audio, video or wireless drivers. But with Linux, most of these drivers are supported directly by the Linux kernel. Which means its more like plug and play for Linux, no struggling with drivers, largely.
6. It’s sexy and I know it
When it comes to looks, desktop Linux rules over Windows. Be it Unity, Cinnamon, Gnome 3, KDE or even low end desktop environments like Xfce or Lxde, they are much more good looking than the Windows desktop. So if you think Linux desktop to be a plain boring and dull looking, you are definitely wrong. Best of all, you can choose a desktop flavor according to your choice.
7. Software repository
Most of the desktop Linux OS have their own ‘app store’ or ‘software repository’. You can look for any kind of application, libraries at one single place without the need of Googling all over the internet for it. Moreover, the software thus installed will be safe, compatible with your OS and will be getting automatic updates.
8. Better updating process
Windows updates are real pain. First Windows will notify that you have system updates. When you install them, it will be configured at shutdown time at a pace that even a tortoise can beat. You will be told to “preparing to configure Windows, do not shutdown your system” and the wait is eternal. And that’s not the end. At the next boot, it will again be configuring the updates. Moreover, the software and applications installed in Windows provide their updates separately. Remember Java, Adobe or iTunes updates pop up?
Updates in Linux is a like a cool breeze. You will be regularly notified that updates are available. And these updates include not just system and security updates but available updates for different applications installed. Unlike Windows, you won’t have to wait at shutdown or start time. Updating in desktop Linux is a matter of one click.
9. Gaming on Linux
One of the major constraint one face while switching to Linux is gaming. While Linux had some native games, thanks to Steam, it has now a wide range of games available. GOG.com will also be bringing around 100 games by the year end. Apart from these, we always have PlayOnLinux, which lets you play ‘Windows only’ games on Linux.
10. Community support
Probably the best thing about Linux is the Linux community. You will never feel alone in Linux world. Apart from numerous Linux how-to blogs, just drop by any forum for any kind of problem you are facing with your system, someone will always try to help you out. Such is the support of Linux community.
Think these 10 reasons are good enough for you to switch to Linux from Windows? If yes then you might be wondering which Linux OS is best for you. In a previous article I had written about best Linux OS to replace Windows XP, you may take a look at it.
I hope this post makes your decision of switching to Linux easier. Time to ditch Windows and embrace the freedom has come. Welcome to Linux.