How to make Ubuntu look more like Windows (upon leaving Windows for Ubuntu)

It’s not a stretch to say that there are a lot of people who are both unhappy about and with Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8.

For one, it brings change. Change is b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d. Unless, of course, you are unhappy with something and want it changed–then it’s good, and can’t happen fast enough.

Without going into a long discussion, here’s a quick synopsis of what happened: Starting a few years ago, Google and Apple began eating Microsoft’s lunch in just about everything tech-wise. The company got tired of that, so it decided it would try and adopt some ideas, concepts and principles from both of them, as a way of fighting back. It decided that instead of having a tablet computer (which it had already failed at) and a desktop computer, with two different operating systems, it would create an all-in-one universal OS for both. Hence, Windows 8.

“Tell me about the rabbits, George!”

Like the ham-fisted Lenny in Of Mice and Men, Microsoft managed to get its oversized clumsy mitts on too many delicate things, and screwed them all up badly. Cue the aforementioned Windows 8, the Surface RT…and, to a lesser extent, the Pro. Smart covers break, battery life is awful, touch screen is often sluggish, not enough apps, no Start button, can’t run previous Windows apps…and so on.

(There’s lots to read here on Brood Coffee Talk about those things…and, elsewhere.)

It tried to define a category; like Apple did with its iPod, iPhone and iPad…and Samsung and Amazon did in the 7-inch market, with the original Galaxy Note and the Kindle Fire, respectively. Instead, the category might have helped define Microsoft.

Which leads us to the present day…and many angry long-standing customers.

Not too long ago we discussed switching to a different OS, like OS X or Ubuntu Linux. While this on the surface (no pun intended) might seem like a great idea, ultimately it can be like driving 30 miles out of your way just to avoid a 45-minute accident delay on the freeway–you’ll get there at the same time had you just sat in the traffic jam, but you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something. Point being, you’ll still have to learn a new OS, and isn’t that why you left Windows in the first place?

What about Ubuntu, the latest version of the Linux OS? It’s a solid alternative…open source (and FREE), years of reliability in its development. But…there is that darned unfamiliarity factor again.

This article from PCWorld.com will show you how to set up Ubuntu so that it looks and acts like Windows 7. Now, I realize that Windows 7 might not have been your problem–that’s likely Windows 8. And, you have a machine with Windows 8.

But it’s very difficult to return to Windows 7 from 8, you’ve likely read or been told. Aye, there’s the rub. As the linked article shows, depending on how you and Windows 8 became acquainted, it could be much more trouble than it’s worth.

Even if you already have Windows 7–sooner or later you’ll have to adopt Windows 8’s interface in some form. Eventually 7 will be gone…Ubuntu is based on open-source Linux, there’s no giant multinational corporation telling you what to do–just users like you and me carefully and responsibly maintaining and updating the Linux code.

There’s a reason Linux is on more computers around the world than anything else.

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