Why I no longer use Windows on my Personal PC
The most popular operating system in the world.
Yet I choose not to use it on any of my personal computers.
The Good ol' Days
The first ever computer I used ran Windows XP. It was the operating system that got me heavily interested in computers.
Windows XP was honestly one of the best operating systems I have ever used. It gave you a decent amount of freedom to customize your desktop, navigation through the operating system was fairly straight forward, and it had rather decent performance.
However, Windows XP is where my love for Windows stayed, as every iteration afterwords never tickled my fancy as much as Windows XP did.
Windows Vista was a flop.
Windows 7, although decent, did not feel the same to me as Windows XP did.
I honestly do not even remember using Windows 8 or 8.1, as I downgraded it the second I saw what it was like.
And Windows 10 is where it started to really go downhill.
From Software to Data
With Windows 10, Microsoft's operating system started to make a shift. It seemed that Microsoft started to focus more on getting users data, instead of creating and selling an Operating System to consumers.
Windows 10 started to heavily include advertisements for other services that Microsoft offered. It asked you to create a Microsoft account and link it to your computer. Microsoft integrated their search engine, Bing, into the Windows Search menu, and a handful of other not so great decisions.
What initially started out as a rather decent replacement to Windows 8.1, that brought back the feel of Windows 7 and increased performance, Windows 10 started to shift to something that felt a little too invasive.
Microsoft started collecting your data.
Even though you purchased a piece of software for $100+, it ultimately did not feel like you owned the piece of software.
This was magnified with the release of Windows 11. The Operating System now has a requirement to have a Microsoft account, with increased usage data being sent to Microsoft, it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Is Windows a bad Operating System
By no means do I believe that Windows is a bad operating system. It has played an integral role in integrating computers into everyday society.
If you look at a computer as a tool, and do not care about anything other then giving you the ability to browse the web, play your favorite game, watch media, chat with friends, etc., then Windows is still an amazing operating system.
But, if you are someone who is privacy conscious, and you do not like the way big tech is handling the computer and technology sectors, then Windows is definitely not for you.
So, what do I use then?
For a couple years now, I have been interested in the Linux Desktop. Though, for the longest time, using a Linux-based operating system has proved to be more troublesome then it was worth. However, over the last year, this has changed.
For my personal computers, I usually spend my time surfing the web, writing blog articles, tinkering in virtual machines, and playing games.
Surfing the web, writing articles, and spinning up virtual machines have all been something that can be easily accomplished on a Linux Operating System. However, gaming was a major hurtle.
Until recently, a large number of games I play barely work on Linux. I was spending more time troubleshooting and getting them to work, than I was playing them. So, I ended up bouncing back and forth between Windows and Linux quite often, hoping that one day I can install Linux and stick with it, completely removing Windows from my (personal) life.
Well, that time has come. Last year, I decided to give Fedora a try, after having many failed attempts with Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Arch. Fedora 35 just released, and I decided to install it with the Gnome desktop.
Out of the gate, I knew this was going to be different.
As someone who uses an Asus Gaming laptop, there is a great Open Source community (https://asus-linux.org) that worked together to get Asus Gaming laptops to work well with Linux, in particular Fedora and Arch.
I went ahead and installed Fedora 35. Followed the guides provided by this community, and within an hour, I was up and running.
I installed Steam and pretty much everything was flawless, albeit for a few issues that were resolved with using Glorious Eggroll's Custom Proton Wine, but I no longer felt like gaming was going to be a wall that prevented me from running Linux full time.
Fast forward to today and I now run _Nobara _ as my main operating system on my laptop. It is a modified version of Fedora created by Glorious Eggroll, that offers "a better gaming, streaming, and content creation experience out of the box. More importantly, [they] want [Nobara] to be more point and click friendly, and avoid the basic user from having to open the terminal."
Linux has opened my eyes to a world where my actions using my operating system are no longer monitored and stored on a server in a data center. Instead, I own my operating system, and I can do to it what I want.
Yes, there are still some games that I am unable to play while using Linux, but that is a small price to pay to have some additional freedom in how I use my computer.