MOVING to LINUX [Part 1] – “Why, what’s wrong with Windows?”

Prologue;

David Tenant was MY Doctor. For anyone who’s not a Dr Who fan, I apologise, that last sentence won’t make any sense. But for those who do know a bit of Dr Who, this was all to say that Windows 7 was MY Windows. But sadly Microsoft will be stopping support for Windows 7 as of January 2020. This blog post will look at my history with Windows Operating Systems, the future of Windows, what people should do about it, and what I’m personally going to be doing.

Windows 7 is the operating system which I have spent the most time using, and the one I still use to this day (Q2 2019), and, sadly to say, it is the last version of Windows I intend to be using as my ‘daily driver’ (or, ‘computer I use every day to do my work and play games.’) That’s right folks, I’m NOT going to be going to Windows 10. Now at this point, you might be asking yourself “What the heck is he on about? What’s the difference between Windows 7 and 10?” or “What happened to 8 and 9“ and “Why do I need to know or care?” all very good questions that we WILL answer in this blog post.

My history with Windows;

But first… let me take you back to my childhood. I grew up on computers before they had the shiny click-to-do interfaces we have come to know and love (there are actually called GUI’s Graphical User Interface.) When I started to learn how to use a computer it was all controlled by typing commands into a ‘command line’ which is a method still commonly used in Linux operating systems, more about them soon.

Image 1 – My Computer

Fast forward to 1990(ish) and the first version of Windows that my Father installed on our home computer was 3.1 and it was amazing. It was the first GUI that I had used and it was such an advancement (to me anyway) that it was hard to go back. However, in those days we still had to open the Command Prompt to do some tasks, it was still easier sometimes.


Image 2 & 3 – Windows 3.1 start screen and Interface, Source: Microsoft


End of 2001 saw the release of Windows XP, the operating system I’ve spent the second most amount of time with, gets installed on my Fathers computer. By this time, I’ve just completed my Diploma of Information Technology and I’ve gotten good at using computers. Looking back I can’t believe that XP came out at the same time I finished my Diploma.

Image 4 – Windows XP interface, Source: Wikipedia

Windows XP served me very well until Windows 7 arrived in 2009. Eight years of long and consistent reliably saw XP as one of the most stable operating systems to date. I guess I call Windows 7 MY Windows because it’s also the one that I taught my partner and kids to use, even if they don’t have the same connection to Windows as I do, my wife says she remembers using Windows 3.1 when I showed her the images above. But, all good things must come to an end…

Image 5 – Windows 7 Interface, Source: Wikipedia

As of January 14th 2020, software giant Microsoft will be stopping its support for Windows 7. Support will continue for businesses running Windows 7 however they will be charged incrementally larger amount each year, for each computer they have running Windows 7. The idea for Microsoft is that they want to get everyone to move to the newest version to Windows 10 so that they can move forward without having to support old versions of the operating system, which makes good business sense.

Image 5 – The Windows 10 interface. Source: Wikipedia

The future of Windows;

So what does this mean to the average person using Windows 7? It means that as of January next year a decision will need to be made. “Do I upgrade to Windows 10, or continue with Windows 7 but run the risk of having security vulnerabilities being discovered that won’t be fixed?” For most people, I would have to say that upgrading to Windows 10 is the easiest and safest option, and it’s the option that Microsoft is hoping most people will be doing. The problem is is that there are still just under half of all computers running a Windows-based operating system, running an older version of Windows, so Windows; XP, 7 or 8.1. Windows 10 is allegedly that last version that Microsoft intends to release, so all other updates will be to this version.

As I mentioned in my prologue, I won’t be moving to Windows 10. I’m looking at moving instead to something called Linux! When I originally wrote this blog post, I included quite a bit of information about what Linux is and why I’m choosing it over Windows, but it was getting way too long. So I decided to split it up into smaller, bite-sized pieces. For this blog post, I’ll just finish up by summing up what steps people will need to think about taking before January 2020.

Solutions;

First off, I don’t recommend you stay on Windows 7, you will be too vulnerable and I can almost guarantee we will see problems for the people that do stay on it before the end of 2020. So your options are;

  1. If you own a properly licensed copy of Windows 7 then there is a relatively easy way to upgrade to Windows 10, possibly for free. This is dependent on if your computer hardware is fast enough to be able to run this new version of Windows; however, it seems that it runs quite well on computers that are a few years old.
  2. If you were to purchase a new computer it will have Windows 10 already installed on it.
  3. Another option is to outright buy a copy of the new Windows 10 and install it on your computer. Note: at the time of writing this, it looks like you can expect to pay about $139AUS or $195USD for a single, personal use copy of Windows 10. Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/cart?cid=Windows10
  4. Stop using Microsoft Windows all together, but that will be covered in another blog post as I said.

If you are not sure what version of Windows you are running and you would like to make sure, please email me; hobstar@protonmail.com with the subject; “Blog Post #3 – What’s my Windows?” and I can walk you through how to find out.

Take away message;

Don’t freak out! There is still time to work this out, whether it’s to upgrade, or buy that new computer you’ve been thinking of getting, we can work this out. Let me know down in the comments of this post what you are planning on doing.

One last thing, I’m excited to introduce a new page to the site, a collection of buzz words and terms that you see in these post along with a brief description to explain them. I plan on updating it often so do stop by and see what new bits of lingo you can pick up. https://hobstarblog.wordpress.com/glossary/


Thanks again to everyone for reading.
Warm Regards,
Paul

P.S. I forgot to talk about Microsoft’s odd numbering system. So Windows had a version 1, 2 before 3, but I never used those. XP then went to 7 and they release a version called 8 which was updated to 8.1 (which is how you will see it listed) but we don’t speak about this one… it was not widely like. With 8.1, they tried to make a hybrid version that would work on desktop and tablets, and it was not a good experience. And finally, they skipped 9 all together, perhaps trying to distance them selves form the tragedy that was 8.1. 😛

5 thoughts on “MOVING to LINUX [Part 1] – “Why, what’s wrong with Windows?”

    1. Oh no, not Windows 8.1! Just kidding. 🙂
      Looks like Windows will stop support for Windows 8.1 January 10, 2023, so you have a few extra years still. If you are interested in looking into Linux still, there will be some more interesting posts about how to do t hat soon.

      Like

      1. Yeah I’ll make sure to read up those once you do post them as I don’t know much about Linux. Only ‘worry’ being that from what I’ve seen a lot of random pieces of software that I’ve either downloaded or looked into, during my years using a computer, don’t support Linux and I wouldn’t like to be limited in that sense especially when I don’t see any big issue with W10.

        Only reason why I didn’t already upgrade to W10 was due to hearing complaints of bugs when it came out and after which didn’t bother updating as it doesn’t specifically bring me any new features that I’d like.

        Like

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