Use Ubuntu as alternative to Windows

The most widely used operating system in the world is Microsoft Windows. However, there is much criticism of the low stability and the high price of this operating system. Linux is the most widely used open source alternative to Microsoft Windows. There are several systems that are built on the “core” of Linux. These different operating systems based on Linux are called “Linux distributions.” Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution.

Ubuntu as your main OS

Ubuntu is an open-source operating system. You can download Ubuntu for free. Ubuntu is, therefore, a cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Windows.

Ubuntu desktop
Default Ubuntu desktop

Ubuntu is a complete and very user-friendly Linux distribution that works straight out of the box. The most important PC applications are installed automatically. Moreover, the software is also offered in many different languages and there is a support community where you can drop your questions or problems regarding Ubuntu. Ubuntu thereby also focuses on less experienced PC users. The organization behind Ubuntu is Canonical.

Ubuntu has the following characteristics:
Internet

  • Firefox web browser is a standard part of Ubuntu and also supports Flash

Office Software

  • LibreOffice; word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software included

Email and Chat

  • Empathy IM
  • Thunderbird email client
    Ubuntu email
  • Gwibber microblogging clientSkype can also be installed on Ubuntu
  • Skype can also be installed on Ubuntu
    Skype on Ubuntu

Social networks

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • TwitterIdenti.ca
  • Identi.ca

Music

  • Ubuntu One Music StoreBanshee media player
  • Banshee media player

Photo editing

  • Shotwell

Video playback and editing

  • PiTiVi video editorMovie Player
  • Movie Player

Updates

  • Simple updating of applications and system.
  • Available in 28 fully translated languages and a total of 218 supported languages.
  • Easily install additional software via Ubuntu Software Centre.
  • Hundreds of free games available via Ubuntu Software Centre.

Linux is becoming more user-friendly

Linux versions like Ubuntu make sure that you can immediately get to work after installation (which is almost easier than a Windows installation, Ubuntu is installed in less than half an hour). Almost all hardware and peripherals are automatically detected, so you can surf the net, print or get photos from your camera. For more difficult cases, there are often solutions in user forums that are very helpful.

If you installed Ubuntu you will see a desktop and a launcher with various applications. The Revolutionary Unity interface in Ubuntu is different than you’re used to Windows, but Mac OS X users will be familiar. The Ubuntu logo top left opens the Dash (dash) with many more applications and search capabilities.

In short:

  • Ubuntu is installed within a half hour (and also made no tough questions during installation, except perhaps when creating partitions)
  • Almost all hardware and peripherals are seamlessly detected
  • There is a lot of (known) software available for Ubuntu Linux
  • You can surf the Internet with Firefox, word processing, spreadsheets and presentations with LibreOffice and mail with Thunderbird, or for business use Evolution (similar to Outlook).
  • For editing photos, you can use GIMP. Create slideshows, import photos from your camera or export to Flickr or Picasa.
LibreOffice on Ubuntu
LibreOffice on Ubuntu.

You probably already encountered some programs that you also used under Windows. And there are more: FrostWire, Google Earth, Skype, Google Chrome, Opera and VLC Media Player are also available under Linux. And for people who use more open source software will be happy with Inkscape (drawing) and Audacity (audio editing). Besides these programs, there are thousands of programs available for free.

With one click, you can install them in Ubuntu. Go to the Software Center and a whole world opens to you. You do not have to search on the Internet for software as you do in Windows (where you have to watch out that your computer doesn’t get infected with spyware or viruses), but all programs are offered on a silver platter. You just have to choose which software to install. And almost everything is free.

It really has a list of thousands of free programs. You no longer have to search whether the software is reliable: that’s already done for you.

In short

  • You’ll encounter lots of software that you already know from Windows
  • All software is free (with a very few exceptions)
  • In Ubuntu, you can install thousands of trusted programs with one click
  • With free Linux software, you can (almost) do everything you did on your Windows PC

Of course it is getting used to, you will encounter problems (some wireless cards are not supported well) and miss the familiar Windows software. But if you like a more stable, safer, faster and free operating system then we would recommending giving Ubuntu a try. With a little adventurousness and perseverance, you will come a long way.

Download Ubuntu

Ubuntu is free and comes in two editions. The LTS release, which stands for Long Term Support and the regular release. The LTS edition is mainly used by companies and people who prefer stability over cutting edge software. We recommend that you download the regular version since it gets updates more often.
Download Ubuntu (Free)

References

http://www.ubuntu.com/about/about-ubuntu
https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/software-center/