We understand that it can be difficult to wean yourself off Windows. It's a ubiquitous operating system that most people are used to. But Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 10 has had some persistent privacy concerns. So if you're looking for an alternative but can't bear to give up the familiar user interface (UI), you could try out the Linux-based Zorin OS. The latest release is made to look and feel like Windows 10. Here are the details.
There have been numerous attempts to replicate the Windows UI on Linux operating systems (does anybody remember Lindows?). In recent years, Zorin OS has become a popular choice for those who want to run Linux but didn’t' want to give up the Windows UI.
Powered by GNOME shell, version 12 of Zorin OS comes with a host of features that replicate those on Windows 10. There's the activities overview, which is pretty much Task View on Windows 10, that lets you display every window and workspace when you use a keyboard shortcut. This lets you browse, rearrange and organise your apps as they're running.
There is the universal search bar that lets you search for installed apps, prompts suggestions for new apps to download, finds files and can even answer simple queries such as local time of a city or solve a basic math questions. On Windows 10, this can already be done from the search bar that resides in the start menu.
While there are a lot of similarities, Zorin OS also bears a number of differences from Windows 10. The aesthetics are much more customisable in Zorin. If you get the paid Ulitmate version of Zorin OS, which costs €15 (AU$22), you can have access to macOS, GNOME 2 and Unity desktop layouts. The Core version is free and comes with the Windows and GNOME 3 desktop layouts. Both versions let you install Windows apps using the built-in Wine runtime although not all Windows apps may be compatible with Zorin OS.
Since it is powered by Linux Kernel version 4.4, Zorin also boasts more hardware compatibility and security improvements:
"As Zorin OS 12 is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, it will be supported with security updates until April 2021. This makes Zorin OS 12 the ideal choice for large deployments in businesses, governments, schools and organisations."
You can find out more about Zorin OS 12 and download it here.