Operating System Switch Considerations

Computers / Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Guys, the release of Windows 8 is looming and I’m starting to panic only a bit. I do things like this for things like this. Get used to it.

I’m usually be pretty excited for a new version of Windows (hell, I got Vista when it came out. AND. LOVED. IT.). Windows 7 was the same way. I like things that are new. Operating systems get old and I get tired of seeing the same thing day in and day out. They also get sluggish. I like the feeling of a fresh installation of an operating system. I’ve even been known to reinstall just for fun. However, I’m not excited about Windows 8 like I used to be excited about new versions of Windows.

Here’s why. Windows 8 is designed with touch as the suggested interface. The only touch device I’ve ever owned was my LG Incite and it ran Windows Mobile. The touch interface on it sucked and I ended up using the hard keys most often. But I digress. As of now, I have a Acer Aspire One D250 netbook. I have a custom-built computer back home with dual monitors (either two 17-inch LCDs or one 17-inch LCD and a 32-inch LCD TV). My phone is a Samsung Blackjack 2 (it’s also Windows Mobile and I’m realizing that I need some more modern phone in my life). Nothing I own is touch enabled and therefore Windows 8 loses a lot of appeal for me.

Sure, you can use Windows 8 with a mouse and it still has a traditional desktop like Windows 7, but that’s no fun. The reason for me to buy a new operating system is to get something new and shiny to play with. I don’t want something similar to what I already have. I’d love to use the new touch enabled Metro interface but only on a proper device. I’m not going to replace all my gear just so I can play with a new toy.

Lately, I’ve been considering switching all my rigs over to Ubuntu. For the past few weeks I’ve used it almost exclusively on my laptop (which now triple boots Windows 7, Ubuntu, and OSX). It’s a wonderful operating system and it doesn’t max the processor or RAM at random like Windows 7 does. My only problem from switching to it exclusively is that for some reason I can’t get it to recognize my netbook’s mic. That’s how much I enjoy using it. I’d leave Windows, which I’ve used since 3.1. I think when I can safely backup all my data on my netbook, I’m going to wipe the drive and make it an exclusive Ubuntu device. My desktop is a whole different question. It’s got the juice to deal with Windows. Would I really gain anything by switching it full-time to Ubuntu? Would it be better  to not worry about getting something new when Windows 8 comes out and just keep running Windows 7?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

I have decided that I’m going to get an Android phone of some sort when I get home. And if I get new laptop/netbook/tablet at any point, the Windows Surface is mighty appealing assuming it’s priced right. All that being said, what would you do?

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