Ask the Readers: Would You Be Willing to Give Windows Up and Use a Different O.S.?

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By Akemi Iwaya on December 15th, 2010

When it comes to computers, Windows definitely rules the desktop in comparison to other operating systems. What we would like to know this week is if you would actually be willing to give up using Windows altogether and move to a different operating system on your computers.

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Note: This week’s Ask the Readers post is posing a hypothetical situation, so please refrain from starting arguments or a flame war in the comments. Good reasoned discussion is always welcome.

There is no doubt that Windows is the dominant operating system in use today. Everywhere you go or look it is easy to find computers with Windows installed such as at work, home, the library, government offices, and more. For many people it is the operating system that they know and are comfortable with, which makes changing to a different operating system less appealing. Adding to the preference for Windows (or dependency based on your view) is the custom software that many businesses use on a daily basis. Throw in the high volume of people who depend on and use Microsoft Office as a standard for their business documents and it is little wonder that Windows is so dominant.

So what would you use if you did decide to take a break from or permanently move away from Windows? If your choice is Linux then you have a large and wonderful variety of distributions to choose from based on what you want out of your system. Want a distribution that is easy to work with? You could choose Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or others that are engineered to be ready to go “out of the box”. Like a challenge? Perhaps Arch Linux is more your style. One of the most attractive features of all about Linux is the price…it is very hard to beat free!

Maybe Mac OS X sounds like the perfect choice. It has a certain mystique and elegance associated with it and many OS X fans refuse to use anything else if given a choice.

Then there is the soon to be released Chrome OS with its’ emphasis on cloud computing. This is a system that is definitely focused on being as low-maintenance and hassle-free as possible. Quick on, quick off, minimalist, and made to be portable. All of the system’s updates will occur automatically leaving you free to work and play in the cloud. But it does have its’ limitations…no installing all of those custom apps that you love using on Windows or other systems…it is literally all about the browsing window and web apps.

So there you have it. If the opportunity presented itself would you, could you give Windows up and use a different operating system? Would it be easy or hard for you to do? Perhaps it would not really matter so long as you could do what you needed or wanted to do on a computer. And maybe this is the perfect time to try something new and find out…that new favorite operating system could be just an install disc away. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 12/15/10
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