I’ve been a Microsoft Windows user ever since I first laid my hands on a computer. The first time I used a Windows machine was scary because I wasn’t “techie” yet — I was only 13 years old then. Moreover, my first instruction in computers (in freshman high school) was on the use of the MS-DOS operating system. It ran programs from an 8-inch system disk and all the actions were control-commands.
I eventually learned to use a Microsoft Windows operating system on my own. The first Windows OS I learned was Windows ’98. It was friendly to new users and allowed them to explore its features without fear of committing system or configuration changes.
Then came Windows ME (Millennium Edition). It was similar to ’98, so no problems there.
When my father bought my first PC, it was running the revolutionary Windows XP. I loved it! I loved the new design, the new icons, the degree of customization available to the user, and the updated set of application software it came bundled with. Notably, I loved the new features of Microsoft Office 2003. I loved everything about the XP operating system.
I use Microsoft Windows 7 now, and I am looking to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 8.
But before considering Windows 8, I would like to consider “alternative” operating systems, specifically those that are licensed as “open-source”. When my six-year-old Windows XP machine gave up and I needed to retrieve my files on the hard drive, I used Ubuntu as a “retrieval operating system”. I bought my current Windows 7 machine after that incident. I’ve also installed Libre Office, the open-source counterpart of Microsoft Office (I use Office 2010). That’s my open-source experience, so far.
Why consider “alternative” operating systems? I am hoping to experience something new. With that, I do hope every one of you reading this blog post can give me suggestions. I’ve gone through a lot of YouTube videos showcasing various operating systems but I do want to hear some opinions.
What am I looking for? Something that will work for someone who’s a:
- social, power-user (word-processing, presentation-creator, extensive Internet-browsing);
- content-creator (graphics-creation, photograph-editing, video-editing); and a
Additionally, I’m looking for:
- a user-interface that is radical from the general Microsoft Windows user-interface, excluding the Modern UI of Windows 8, and
- something that is NOT entirely closed-source and expensive, i.e., MacOS X and all Apple products.
So how about it? Any suggestions and opinions? Actually, I’m leaning towards Meego and Ubuntu Studio. Any others that you know of? I’ve heard that there are about more than a thousand operating systems out there.
I’ll be waiting …