Approaching the Fork: Part 1. Windows or Linux?

fork in road

I’m approaching a fork in computing and I guess I’m not alone on this one. The choice to stay with Windows OS or fork over to Linux is one which I’ve thought about for several years now. It’s a two-pronged fork as I just can’t afford to consider the Mac option. I’m currently using Windows 7 on my main desktop PC and I have XP and Ubuntu on old desktops and Ubuntu on my netbook. Believe me, it’s not a straightforward choice and I’m not a fanboy of either and would have no problem forking either way if all my conditions were met.

I thought I’d write a series of posts now and again over the next couple of years documenting approaching the fork and making this decision. I probably don’t have to make a firm decision for a couple of years as you’ll see in the upcoming posts.

I’ve used Microsoft operating systems since 1988, both MS-DOS and Windows and I’m familiar with Windows and all its intricacies. I’ve worked out a maintenance routine, a backup routine and I’ve built up a nice suite of free and low cost programs to do just about all I need to do in Windows thanks to blogs like MakeUseOf. A major factor in sticking with Windows is that my work as a freelancer needs Windows doc files returned to clients with tracked changes.

On the other hand, I’ve used Ubuntu for about 4 years now on my Acer Aspire netbook. It’s free and I like it and reinstalls and upgrades are much more straightforward than in Windows. Linux Mint 14 has just been released and I’d like to try that next. I also want to look at Wine and CrossOver on a LInux machine to see if they will help me access programs I need from the Window’s world. I’m not a gamer so Windows doesn’t have a hold on me from that point of view.

For those of you that would say go for it, just change to Linux, it’s not that simple. I’m quite happy with Windows 7 and will stick with it for another year or two. It’s what’s happening further down the line that has me examining my options. So please follow me over the coming months as I try to work out what’s after Windows 7 and which fork I’ll take. The next post, Part 2 of this series, will look at my decision to stick with Windows 7 in the short term rather than move to Windows 8.

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