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.
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.
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.
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.
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.