Post your journey from Windows! What made YOU switch?

I was a Windows fan all my life, windows 3.1, all the way to 8.1.
Old versions of Windows still give me that fuzzy feeling when the start up music plays.
I knew about Linux and tinkered with it from time to time, but there was always big deal breakers for me. (Usu. a game that wouldn't play).

Windows 8 was when things fell apart in my opinion. Windows traded functionality and cohesivity for flashiness and kept pushing their products at me within the system. Like, I already bought your operating system can you just let me use it please? Where is my start menu? I began to realize that Microsoft treats me like the product, not the consumer.
After a few year break from desktop computing, I pulled my wife’s 10-year-old laptop out of the attic and installed Zorin OS.
I switched to Zorin OS and haven’t looked back.
UEFI and other attempts by MS to lock you into their eco system has made me very glad to be rid of it.
As web-based programs get better and better, and as programmers begin to program more things for Linux, All of my objections for switching to Windows fall away.
It wasn’t so long ago that Windows "just worked." Linux was for power users and tinkers. But more and more, Windows takes tinkering and Linux just works. (Uninstall MS Edge vs. uninstall the browser packaged with Zorin, for example.)

I believe I have the right to do whatever I want with my hardware and software.

Big tech doesn't!

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I too was a Windows user from it's creation .... tried to break away once but Linux wasn't ready for me so back I went .... I know a lot of people didn't like Win 8.1 but I liked it but maybe the Pro version had something to do with it .... I dunno ....

When did I really decide to leave Windows .... when they started touting Win 11 .... at the time my Asus laptop was only 3 years old and a more high end 17in gaming series ..... although I had no problem using Win 10 Pro because I had never even once downloaded any of M$ updates but instead added my drivers off the factory websites ....

I decided one day to look into Win 11 and found that my laptop didn't qualify to run their Win 11 program and at the time they were advising people to purchase new equipment in order to use Win 11 (they have since reneged on that thought) but it was to late I was through with M$ as my daily driver .... what really saved my bacon was viewing a YouTube website that talked about Zorin and showed how it looked and operated .... so I tried it and after my trials and tribulations with the help of many of the board members (which without their help I would be back on Win 10 Pro) I have been using Zorin 16 Pro for the past year as my daily driver ..... (hooray ..... I had an 1 year anniversary last month)

Did I have major problems with Win 10 Pro .... not really as with the Pro addition you could get around all the garbage M$ throws at you with their updates .... I also used a program called " Windows-Don't-Spy-On-Me" .... it was and is fantastic and work plugging all those black holes that M$ likes to open up .....

But I also need to add that with Zorin I learned to customize my desktop and settings and to use the terminal something I could never do on Win 10 .... again thanks to the great folks residing here on the board ..... baring an unforeseen disaster to Zorin I will be here till the cows come home ..... :+1: :grinning:

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I have also been using Windows since 3.1, but being unable to upgrade my current PC to Win11 despite its satisfactory specs was a catalyst for installing Zorin OS. Furthermore, Win10 added features that I didn't need and hid features that I did need, which made me lose hope in the future of Windows.

I had little experience with the Linux OS, so I was puzzled at first, but my intellectual curiosity soon outweighed it. Zorin OS is easy to use, stable, and comfortable once the resource consumption caused by Gnome is controlled.

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Everything really.

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My Windows story. I was TU (Trade Union) Health & Safety Officer. The branch had Tulip x86 computers with 5 1/4" floppy drive and Windows 3.1 which booted to a DOS prompt. I had to ask Branch employed staff how to get Windows to boot. "You just type Win". What a drag! The software was very limited to. At the time I think I had a Sinclair Spectrum 128 with heat sink. The graphics were poor and when I borrowed a Spectrum book from the library to create a budget with more lines I got an error beep, so it got sold for more than I paid for it. My next one was the Amiga 1500. I did not want the keyboard version that you plugged to a TV. I still had to do the latter, but it was a 'proper' computer with box for expanding hardware. At time of purchase it had two Amiga floppy drives and 1 Mb RAM. I used a great little DTP program called PageSetter which I used to create the monthly Branch Health & Safety Bulletin on a Canon BJ-200 inkjet printer. 20 minutes to print off one page but very professional results. The A4 sheets would then be taken into Branch for composing onto A3 photocopies and sent out to Safety Representatives. Then where I worked underwent a major reorganisation, my boss lost her job, and I and colleagues lost our dedicated admin support so we had to do their job as well. This sent me into meltdown. I sold all my diecast cars and Action Man toys at Christie's auction house in London and made a fair bit of cash. With some of this I purchased my first Windows machine with Windows 95, P120, 1 Gb Fujitsu Hard Drive, 16 Mb RAM, and S3 VGA 256 Kb card and a Voyager sound card. I purchased Office 95 from a guy selling bankrupt stock for £12. With Excel 95 I constructed a Workbook that would have taken care of all my admin troubles but was forbidden from pursuing this as the IT Department had no plans for introducing IT to the service I worked for. With some of the proceeds I upgraded the main chip so I could upgrade from Workbench 2.0 to 3.1. I also installed an Oktagon SCSI controller and a SCSI drive (1 Gb), and some ZIP RAM.
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I upgraded the processor of the P120 to an Evergreen AMD 400 MHz Processor. Reinstalling Windows 95 was great fun as I had to download a patch as Windows 95 could not run on such a fast processor. I also purchased the Plus! pack. Graphics card was upgraded to Matrox Mystique 220, and the Rainbow Runner Add on Card. I also purchased the separate Matrox 3d Card, and just before analogue TV was turned off the Matrox TV card.
Sound Card was upgraded to Sound Blaster 32 with 12 Mb RAM added.
My next rig was partially built by myself (The computer shop installed the processor for me). It had AMD 400 MHz CPU, 128 Mb Ram, and 128 Mb nVidia card, transferred SoundBlaster to it. 20 Gb Quantum Fireball drive, OS Windows 98 SE. Then my first complete build. AOpen server tower, Asus motherboard with AMD 1.6 GHz processor and 1.5 Gb RAM, nVidia 256 Mb AGP card. Initially had Windows XP Pro, XP Plus! and Office 2002 Pro.
It was around this time a 6th Form student on secondment in the School's IT Department where our Integrated Resource was based introduced me to Knoppix 2.9. Wow, an OS that could run from your Optical Drive, it spoke to you to tell you that all systems were operational, and it was free! I was advised to look at something like Mandrake, so I put Mandrake 10 on the machine at home, think I had it on separate drive. The downside was that I was on dial-up at home, so during lunch break at work I would burn CDs I had taken in to get updates. Bad move as after installing downloaded updates back home from the CDs I borked Mandrake. What I loved about Linux was the Desktop Environment, the choice of layouts, unique wallpapers, Windows Management. One of the hardest elements that didn't always work out of the box due to soundcard manufacturer's building for Windows was the only software available was OSS which needed tinkering, in particular sound rate (Hz) and a few other bits. The principal reason for still using Windows waa for games, Serif WebPage Plus for my now defunct website thanks to Covid. Windows 7 Pro 32-bit was the next Windows OS as well as Zorin 5 Ultimate which I dual booted on one drive. On my youngest's machine it was triple boot with XP Pemphasised textro 32-bit, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit and Zorin 4 Core 64-bit on an Athlon 2.2 GHz processor MSI Bundle. One of the children's favourite games was Dogz and Catz which ironically did not run on Windows 7, even in compatibility mode but ran perfectly under Zorin using WINE! What led me Zorin was the demise of Freespire which as far as I can tell was the closest experience Windows users could get to Windows. I wanted to offer community support as it was now the only GNU/Linux OS that offered a Desktop Environment close to Windows. There are of course other similar distros that came after or I was not aware of them such as Q4OS which still has an XP feel to it. Ithink one of the crucial things for me is that as a user the OS belongs to me, unhampered by closed source licencing, you only have the right to run Windows/MacOS on your device, you never own it. This video is still my all time favourite when GNU/Linux reached 25 years of age:

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Every one of these stories are pretty deep. No offence.

People have a natural tendency to resist change.
So, it would probably take something pretty deep to convince a person to accept the work and effort that can come with changing your Operating System.

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I too used Windows primarily until three years ago. Up until Windows 8, I would also argue that I knew most in-and-outs of Windows and tweaked every PC I got my hands on for optimal performance. But from Windows 8 onward, it seems you can do less and less to modify and tweak Windows to work the way you want. (I skipped 8 mostly for that reason). And now in Windows 11 you can't even reposition the taskbar without third party tools. It just becomes less and less transparent and more data hungry.

But I knew about Linux for quite some years prior. My first introduction to Linux was in 2008 or 2009. I got a job for a South-African company in southern China. The company had a couple of PC's and a server running Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. I was so intrigued. I enjoyed working with it, it felt welcoming and I had great fun with Compiz's special effects. But for me with my boss being South-African, 'Ubuntu' had a far greater meaning. "Linux for Human Beings." ...I miss that slogan. I loved the whole philosophy of Ubuntu and GNU/Linux in general. The video of Steven Fry that @swarfendor437 posted captures it quite well. For Ubuntu in particular I also loved the focus on human beings, on accessibility and localization. Ubuntu/Linux was available in languages that weren't supported by other operating systems.

Alas, I required Windows software for work, study and play. I tried, but I wasn't skilled enough/didn't have the time to get things running through Wine. But I was forever interested in Linux and Ubuntu in particular.

Then in 2018 I got a new laptop and around that time Linux developments also really progressed fast it seemed. The laptop was available with either Windows and Ubuntu installs. Because the Windows version was cheaper (!?) I got that one, but I installed a second SSD and installed Linux there. Because of the hard work of many people I can now use Linux for pretty much any task, and enjoy using Linux as my daily driver. While I purchased and appreciate Zorin Pro, I can't deny I mostly still have a soft spot for Ubuntu because of my history.

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I replaced my Windows 8.1 Enterprise as the evaluation copy expired and so pc was restarting each hour :rage:, then I finally installed Zorin. I just wanted to try something else, despite for me the main problem is running my favourite games, and using Wine looks too geeky for me, at least for now. If only there was a way to run .exes easily by everyone it would have been cool, to use Wine looks like you need a degree :woman_student::laughing:

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No need to bring the freemasons into it! :wink:

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I switched because i hate the way Microsoft is going. XP and 7 where their best operating systems so far. But after that it's going a path i won't follow. I used 10, but all the spyware included is ridiculous. I made a switch to linux (Zorin OS/Pop! OS) last year to test it and i loved it!. Back in april 2022 Windows 11 got a update to 22H1 which i really wanted to try to see what mass they made of it. Tried it for a few months and i hated it even more. It is slower compared to Windows 10 and it has alot spyware included. I disabled all the spyware and i got the 22H2 update for it which forced enabled it and i did not even noticed it. I checked it with the program O&O Shutup! and saw they enabled it again. My feelings where still...switch to linux and ditch Windows for good. Linux gets more and more love these days thanks to steam with their awesome support for the deck and proton. The games i play are running great under linux. I don't need windows...besides that Windows 11 looks like a Linux/Mac OS clone :rofl:

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Great to see you back Michel ..... hope you will stay around a while and do some posting .... sure miss your info on gaming and games ..... :beers:

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Thanks frog!, they might come back the info. But i am very busy this year. Started with a new job back in Februari, working at home to get things done etc.

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Ya gotta do what you gotta do but it is good to hear from you again .....

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the official windows version can't work well on my pc, it's heavy, have problem with display adapter, i get blue death screen a lot, windows doesn't have lite version. it's paid, and the tech-support not provided a lot
so it has been should leave windows.

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@Michel
Maybe we'll start seeing software developed for Windows to provide a "Linux-like" desktop interface because people are more comfortable with it. People will say, "Windows isn't so bad, and you can make it look just like Linux if you want!" :smiley: dreams

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Started out with CPM, DOS, and then Win 3...the first MS Windows that used a mouse. I always bought the MS published tech manuals so I was always able to dig deeper than most into the MS products and make the OS more survivable, well for me anyway. I stayed on Win 7 Pro 64 bit for years (personal use) and at work.

Eventually my company struck a deal the devil (MS) and its handmaiden (Google) and moved everything to Win 10 and Google tools, cloud, etc. Every day became a challenge.

I despised the fact that MS was actually forcing, behind the scenes, Win 10 onto computers. For my personal computer I used the "Win 10 When I Want It" tool from a developer in France. I stayed on Win 7 until recently, but, realising that 7 was long in the tooth I needed an alternative. Zorin became that alternative. No regrets, no second thoughts, no crying in my beer about the move to Zorin. Still learning Linux and Zorin but Zorin Pro is here to stay on my newly build Linux box.

Here are my Zorin box specs should someone be interested about the components that worked for me.

Intel Core i7 12th Generation i7-12700 for the cpu
Noctua NH-L9i-17xx Low Profile for the CPU cooler
ASROCK H670M Pro RS Micro ATX for the mother board
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD M.2 NVMe for the SSD boot drive
G-Skill Flare X Series F4-3200C14D-16GFX for system memory
Silverstone Milo 11 Micro ATX for the case
Silverstone 300 watt TFX for the PSU
Noctua NF-A8 PWM 80mm fan for case cooling
Intel SSD DC S3500 80gig for 6 GB/s SATA storage

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True, but with the windows 11 release i get the feeling they are cloning the mac os/linux looks. For people it would not be hard to switch these days. My laptop is installed within 10 minutes, everything works out of the box. Just had to do a little tweak for my speakers but thats it. In windows i need to install driver after driver after driver :joy:. It is time consuming, i dont even want to talk about the many reboots it needs after driver updates or ms updates.

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Мой iMac 2007 устарел по мнению Apple, операционная система не обновляется, некоторые приложения работают не корректно. Я не собираюсь покупать новый iMac, ради прибылей компании Apple. Zorin OS работает прекрасно и радует качеством. Уверен, новые релизы будут ещё лучше.

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