Reasons Why Linux Is Better Than Windows 10

Windows 8.1 Desktop
Windows 8.1 Desktop.

Introduction

Now that Windows 10 has been released and due to the fact the upgrade is free for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users you would be forgiven for thinking that this would be a preferable option to learning a new operating system such as Linux.

This article provides 10 good reasons why you might want to choose Linux and in particular Linux Mint over Windows 8 and Windows 10.

1. You have an older computer

If you are using Windows XP or Vista then the chances are your computer isn't going to be powerful enough to run Windows 8 or Windows 10.

You have two choices really. You can either stump up the money required to buy a computer running Windows 10 or you can opt for Linux Mint.

There are many different versions of Linux Mint and if you go for the version with the lightweight desktop environments such as XFCE or MATE then your machine will live on.

2. Linux Mint Is More Familiar Than Windows 8 Or Windows 10

If you are using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 then you might be surprised to learn that Linux Mint probably provides an easier learning curve than Windows 8 or Windows 10.

The start menu is exactly where you would expect it to be in Linux Mint, there are normal icons, panels and a system tray.

Setting up hardware is straight forward as well. You will be able to set up most printers without inserting a DVD or navigating to a website in order to install the drivers.

3. The Size Of The Windows 10 Download Is Huge

If you are on Windows 7 or even Windows 8 and you are thinking about upgrading to Windows 10 then you should realise that the download for Windows 10 is very large.

Do you have a download limit with your Broadband provider? Linux Mint in comparison is just over 1 gigabyte in size and with that you get all of your software as well.

What is really annoying is that you can't walk into a local shop and buy an upgrade DVD or USB drive. The download is the only way to get the free upgrade.

This guide shows you everything you need to know about the Windows 10 upgrade.

It is worth noting that the update will take 20 minutes to install or in some cases over an hour.

4. Linux Mint Is Free With Free Applications

Whilst Windows 10 appears to be completely free on the surface there are a lot of caveats such as only being free for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users upgrading to it, only free for a year, only free via a downloadable update and the software is either not free or is advert supported.

Applications which have commonly been provided for free with Windows such as the media player and games such as solitaire and hearts are no longer free.

If you want to watch a DVD you have to pay a subscription to do so and all of those games are supported with adverts.

The office suite? You have to pay for that I'm afraid. Office 365 is decent value for money but it can't beat free.

Linux Mint is available as a free download and it has always been free. No caveats, no requirement to have a previous version of Mint installed to get the latest one. Nothing like that. The only thing you might have to pay for, is if you decide to buy a DVD but we are talking pennies rather than pounds. 

Within Linux Mint you get the full office suite, a great graphic editing program, audio player, video player, web browser and email client for nothing.

 

It doesn't stop there either. The Linux Mint repositories are teeming with free applications.

Of course there are free applications on popular Windows download sites such as CNET but bad things can happen when you use those sites.

This brings us nicely to point 5.

5. Security

Whilst no operating system can claim to be completely risk free the fact remains that Windows is a big target for developers of viruses and malware.

There is very little that Microsoft can do about this issue and as such you are required to install an antivirus application and firewall software which eats into your memory and cpu usage as well as the constant stream of downloads required to keep this software up to date.

Within Linux you just need to be clever and stick to the repositories and avoid using Adobe's Flash.

Linux by its very nature is just more secure than Windows. 

6. Performance

Linux Mint even with all the effects and shiny features of the Cinnamon desktop environment runs faster than Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Users are becoming less reliant on the desktop and more reliant on the web. Do you need all of your processing power taken up with the operating system or do you want something with a lighter footprint letting you get on with your work and play time.

7. Privacy

Windows 10's privacy policy has been well documented in the press. The truth is that it isn't quite as bad as some people would have you believe and Microsoft aren't doing anything that Facebook, Google, Amazon and others have been doing for years.

For instance, the new voice control system Cortana learns about the way you talk and gets better as it goes along by sending usage data to Microsoft. They can then use this data to improve the way Cortana works. Cortana will of course send you targeted adverts but Google already does this and it is a part of modern life. 

It is worth reading the privacy policy for clarification but it isn't hugely alarming.

Having said all this, Linux Mint doesn't collect your data at all. You can remain hidden away from Big Brother. (As long as you never use the internet ever).

8. Reliability

Windows is just not as reliable as Linux.

How many times have you, as a Windows user, had a program hang on you and even when you try and close it via task manager (assuming you can get it to open) it remains open and it takes a number of attempts to close the offending program.

Within Linux each application is self contained and you can easily kill any application with the XKill command.

9. Updates

Don't you just hate it when you need to print out those theatre tickets or cinema tickets or indeed just need to print out directions to a venue and so you turn on your computer and see the following message:

"Installing Update 1 of 356"

Within Linux Mint the updates are far more controlled and they never get in the way of actually doing stuff. Even whilst the updates are installing I can access the internet, continue working on documents or play games.

10. Variety

So you have Windows 7 and you decided to upgrade to Windows 10. What happens if you really hate the interface? 

Tough luck I'm afraid you are stuck with it. There will undoubtedly be a number of applications released to help you tweak certain aspects but that is as good as you are going to get.

Within Linux Mint you can customise most aspects of the desktop environment installed whether that is Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE or KDE. If you really don't like the desktop, change it to a completely new one.