Once upon a time, you couldn’t find a single machine in my home that wasn’t running on Linux.
A handful of laptops and one or two desktops came in and went out, but Linux stayed for more than ten years. If my fridge could run on Linux, I would’ve installed it. And then, Edge entered through Windows, and showed Linux the door (for good?!).
There’s a saying, once you try Linux, you never go back to Windows. My Linux transition can be best described as revelation and liberation.
For years I had only two options when it comes to Windows. The first one was to bleed for two years until I pay off my contract with a mobile provider. I get a laptop with a preinstalled Windows, which was usually a cheaper Home version strictly limited to one user without Office.
A bitter cherry on top was the simple math that could have bought two laptops for the price of a two-year contract. Why didn’t buy a laptop and Windows separately? Well, this question brings us to option two.
I’ve always hated the local self-proclaimed “Windows Gurus.”
You want Windows installed on your computer - you have to pay to play. Why didn’t I do it myself? Because I didn’t want to go on a “treasure hunt” for missing drivers, that’s why. So, I had to call, wait, and eventually listen to the most boring life stories imaginable.
I lost count of how many times I bought a cat in a bag. God knows where these Windows versions came from. I’m sure back in the day, I got some malware or trojan for free. It’s on the house, buddy, but no worries, everybody is doing it. If you wanted a “trustworthy key,” you had to pay extra for it.
It wasn’t about the money. I was sick and tired of feeling helpless on dependent on these “Windows Gurus.” Oh, how they enjoyed themselves showing off their “expertise.” I had to be “grateful” and generous, if I wanted to see them again doing their “magic” on my machines.
Then one day that was both the worst and the best at the same time, I just had enough. The famously infamous “blue screen of death” made me cry, literally. For the first time in my life, I was looking for Windows alternatives, for real.
I heard stories about the thing called - Linux, which my PC “gurus” referred to as “Windows for the poor.” At that point, I was absolutely desperate and determined.
Just in case, you haven’t been told - UBUNTU - is a beautiful word. Short story even shorter, I followed Linux-for-dummiest-dummies step-by-step how-to-this-and-that available online. A few hours later, not only did I kill the blue screen of death, but also installed my very first Linux on
HP Stream Notebook PC 13, which is a Windows 10 nightmare with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB hard drive. Ubuntu worked like a charm on my favorite laptop with a battery that lasts almost as long as the final season of Peaky Blinders.
I felt like I had been living under the Windows rock all that years before Linux. So much misery, time, and money wasted. But, no more baby, no more. I became a Linux missionary. You know what that means, don’t you, for the bloodsucking Windows gurus from my neighborhood?
Whoever wanted Linux Ubuntu on their computer could get it for free. My reward was the challenge of installing Linux on the old and weak machines with more dust than their owners’ trust that they’d use them ever again. I never said “no” to a desperate call for help. I also never said “no” to a pizza and beer either. No money, but if you want to surprise your friendly Linux neighbor, knock yourself out, honey!
Those were the days. I was invincible. No more rage against the machines. Even when I got a new laptop with the preinstalled Windows, I had no mercy. I didn’t care about the warranty BS for switching to another OS, which was a big deal back then.
They also say that love is blind. I was happy and careless that I didn’t have the time or need to bother myself with the “technicalities.”
Somewhere along the way, Linux people got lost in translation. Maybe it was just me, but I could read it clearly between the lines of new Ubuntu releases. ‘We can match Windows.’ If you’re asking me, and you ain’t, Linux has been chasing its own tail with all these new releases. I don’t want something that’s as good as or even better than Windows. I want something different, as simple as that.
Then, one day, I realized that not even 4 GB RAM won’t be enough for the latest Ubuntu release. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in the stone-computer-age. I ain’t no Scrooge McDuck when it comes to buying a new machine. But, c’mon guys, I’m a writer, not a gamer. If you are a coder or a designer, I can understand why you look down on anything that’s running with less than 8 GB, 16 GB, or even 32 GB RAM.
For the first time in my Linux life, I started paying attention to the LTS dates. For example, Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS is no longer supported. So, what’s the big deal? Upgrade to 18.04. But, I don’t want to. After Ubuntu 20.04 got released, I just lost it.
In the meantime, the little Microsoft bees were busy working on something that will/would turn out to be a game-changer. “If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain.”
I closed my Twitter account. Nah, it’s not what you think. It has nothing to do with Elon. So, chill out. I tweeted with pride and excitement when I installed Microsoft Edge on Linux while it was still on Dev Channel (Beta). It worked. It ate less memory than Chromium! I didn’t keep the screenshots. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s not the point.
The almighty grandpa Microsoft made something for Linux. I was shocked, to say the least. What was that supposed to mean? What an unexpected “nod” to Linux. Why? Was that some kind of a “recognition?” Or an “olive branch” of some kind?
As I said, I tried it. I liked it. One thing led to another. I didn’t know or I totally forgot that a Microsoft activation key stays attached to your Microsoft account. So, I installed Microsoft again after almost a decade. I felt as if I was “cheating” on Linux. I already explained to you that I have a thing against the browsers, which are memory eaters. One of my friends showed me that each new Chrome tab is another memory-hungry mouth your computer has to feed. I did a quick comparison of Edge against Chrome on Windows. However, when it comes to performance numbers, I prefer that the pros at Tom’s Guide have their final say:
I no longer need local “Windows Gurus” to do the installation work. I can do it myself. Only one of my machines runs on Windows 11. Honestly, I don’t see it as a problem. Windows 10 will be supported by 2025. By then, I will renew my PC army, and all of my computers will have Windows 11 or 12 or whatever gets introduced in the meantime. One more shocking revelation. The same friend, I mentioned earlier, showed me that you can add extra RAM to a laptop, which I considered to be a “heresy.” Plus, an extra “surgery” that involves an SSD, and your laptop gets a new Windows life. This time, the math was on my side.
Let’s not forget app compatibility. No need for Linux alternatives. Although it was fun to use Terminal. It made me feel - smart.
Three years ago I published a totally different story about my Linux experiences and feelings while using Ubuntu and LibreOffice. Now, I’m writing this one on Windows. What a difference one browser made.
Even OMG!UBUNTU! cherished the moment of Edge’s “stability” with a headline that sounded as if came right from Microsoft’s marketing kitchen: Microsoft Edge for Linux is Finally Stable. Wow! Just in case someone would like to label me as a traitor.
Not so long ago, it used to be like this: