3 Free Operating System Alternatives to Windows 7

operating-system-alternative-windows-7.jpg

The majority of personal computers come pre-installed with Windows and as a result, it has become the default operating system for most. But just because Windows is the most common OS available doesn’t mean that you have to use it (or stick to it). When it comes to alternate operating systems, there are several options that give you the opportunity to explore a different (and possibly cooler) way of working. Most of these alternatives are lighter and faster than Windows and will probably give your PC a new breath of life.

These open operating system alternatives are based on Linux and before you disregard them, read why this is a good thing. Firstly, they offer an experience similar to Windows. Secondly, they’re open source and that means they’re free for anyone to use.

Alternate Operating System #1 — Ubuntu

As an alternate operating system, Ubuntu is a popular Linux distro, mostly due to its extensive range of features, refined looks and out-of-the-box capabilities. Ubuntu is released regularly and a new version is made every 6 months. The latest edition of Ubuntu is 10.10, which was released in October 2010.

It also has separate streamlined versions for running on netbooks and servers.

Ubuntu 10.10 comes pre-loaded with a variety of software (all free, of course). You’re pretty much able to perform any everyday task that you would normally undertake on your Windows PC, making it the perfect alternative to Windows 7.

alternative to windows 7

Alternate Operating System #1 — PinguyOS

Ubuntu is great but for someone who is switching from Windows 7 to Linux or perhaps want to take a user-friendly distro for a spin, PinguyOS is probably where they’ll want to start.

alternate operating systems

Pinguy OS is based on Ubuntu 10.10 Minimal CD but is built to be easier to use, with lots more applications and integrated extensions (like CoverGloobus, Gloobus Preview, GNOME Do, and Docky) to make the interface more familiar to the Windows user. It’s a great alternative to Windows 7, the switch will be seamless.

Alternate Operating System #1 — Jolicloud

Finally, if you have a netbook and Windows 7 Home is too frigging sluggish to run, you might want to give Jolicloud a go. Why Jolicloud? Well, because it’s an alternate operating system that was optimised just for netbooks. The system’s architecture was designed to make the most out of the less powerful netbook configurations.

open operating system

It comes with a range of built-in tools like a web browser and social network apps. It also takes advantage of the fact that web apps are quite competent nowadays so Google Docs, Gmail, Flickr and YouTube are integrated into the open operating system and ready to go. You have the option to install hundreds more web apps via its application manager. Since it partially operates in the cloud, you’ll need to create an account and sign in before using the system.

What’s not to like about these open operating system alternatives to Windows? They’re fast, they’re beautiful and most of all, they’re free.

Image adapted from houbi

About author
Jackson Chung, M.D. is the founder of TheDailyBuggle. He is also the Associate Editor for MakeUseOf. When he's not working, you'll find him fiddling with his camera and enjoying chai latté. Catch him (if you can) on Twitter @aenon1mus. He encourages you to join TheDailyBuggle on Facebook and Twitter.
17 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I would have mentioned Linux Mint as an alternative as well; an interface similar to Windows, focus on usability, preinstalled with some proprietary software, such as the Adobe Flash plugin, to make the transition from Windows as painless as possible. Works right out of the box!

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Stian!

  2. Kinda funny; Alternate Operating System #1 (for all 3 listed). Ubuntu entry also needs to be updated since 11.04 was released in April 2011.

  3. my personal choice is ubuntu 10.10, 11.04 is good but not my cup of tea.

  4. Why dont try Free Windows? I recently was given a distribution disk, the system is running without problems. I like it so far. http://free-windows.com

    • because, it is a not free.

      • uh, look closely, its not windows at all. Its linux! So calling it free windows is a gimmick.

    • i like the name “free” especially that u have to pay for it,u better take that post off,we r talkin about free (which means no payment) oses and that has no place in here
      i would love to laugh in their faces bout calling it free

  5. My other tips for alternatives to Windows OS:

    eeebuntu

    Haiku OS

    Mint (Linux distribution)

    ReactOS

    VectorLinux

    ZorinOS

  6. На хрена козе баян когда у нее аккордеон.

  7. I would like say on people who commented on the site as it gives u an alternative to window but it not discouraging u from using it as for the site its best

  8. With updates to XP coming to an end in 2014, I will need to change my operating system. I have tried Win 7, and hate it with a passion. It is so complicated, and full of ‘pictures’ for commands, instead of those old fashioned things called ‘words’.
    If I use one of the Linux OS, what assurance do I have that my Windows programs will work. (AutoCAD 2012, MS Office 97, Photoshop, and many others)

  9. I should have included my e-mail program, ‘Eudora’ in my previous post, also ‘Sendit’ .

  10. Yes, Haiku OS obviously take advantage and could be an serious fellow player to Ubuntu. Nothing on its function i think is really replaceable. One year from now i hope it is in a final version which get more and more productive. For some years Ubuntu was a small and green OS i know!

  11. Great post. I had try several distro in the past. Personally, I think Ubuntu or Mint is great for new user, but they requires much cpu power and memory. So for an old computer, I would suggest crunchbang, puppy linux, or lubuntu.

  12. Nice info, thanks

  13. Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and include almost all important infos. I would like to peer more posts like this .

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