Welcome to the Linux Foundation Forum!

Beaten up by Windows - please help


Hello everyone,

I am new to Linux, and I am hoping to have just a leisurely conversation about switching from windows. I will find answers to specific questions hopefully with a search here, but I may still ask anyway.

I want to start with a frustrating rant...why can't Microsoft just get the simple things right? I have a 3 day old Surface 3 which is going through a reset right now since it won't stay connected to any wifi router. It also won't sync favorites across multiple machines with the dandy new "edge" browser. Additionally, it won't store my 8gigs of OneDrive files on a microSD card.

Why are they so out of touch with how (I think) most people want to use their portable computers? And WHY, why can't they get the simplest things to work first? I see their ads about virtual reality, and all the new creepy stuff windows 10 will do...but it won't $&#*$%^ connect to wifi reliably.

Anyway, after 20 years of windows, and recent problems with both windows 8 and now windows 10, I am finally at the end of my rope. For me to have to sit and troubleshoot windows for entire weekends at a time just to get basic services working is NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE TO ME. I have to get something that just works.

I partitioned a 100gig space on my desktop PC and installed 17.2 Mint. (I had time issues though and windows would be off by 5 hours. Using a registry hack to make it use GMT instead of local caused syncing issues on everything including OneDrive and password authentication with OneNote.)I JUST CANT WIN.

It's like they don't want me to use windows, every time I turn around Microsoft punches me in the jewels.

So, my questions to all of you esteemed experts starts with, "can I learn my way around Linux easier than windows?" I remember the days of 9600 baud modems and fixing interrupt issues in windows 3.1. I don't claim to be a computing expert, but I learned a lot by fixing things and building dozens of desktop PCs over the years since my XT88 in 1994.

More to the point though, can I do business with Linux? Can I connect to 2 separate exchange servers, cloud-store office 2013 documents and edit/share them among Office/windows people. In short, am I going to miss any productivity between my office and my home if I install Mint on a new laptop after I return this surface 3?

Any thoughts are welcome. Thank you.


  • dday35216
    Hey -
    I feel your pain. I am forced to use Windows at work with all of it's warts and updates and restarts.

    I have used Linux exclusively at home ( my wife just switched from Win 8 after an update hosed her video drivers) and love it. LibreOffice's integration with all things MS Office is almost perfect and gets better all the time. I don't know about Onedrive since I don't use it, but I'm sure there is an integration out there in Open Source space somewhere.

    And as far as "learning" Linux, there is more documentation and videos available than you can read or view in a lifetime.

    Enjoy -
  • 8480850522
    dday35216 wrote:
    And as far as "learning" Linux, there is more documentation and videos available than you can read or view in a lifetime.

    This is the problem! And most of this "documentation" is opinion based and not at all objective.

    What is needed is ONE documentation describing how to get a Linux up and running with as much of the essential main-stream functionality of Windows 7 as possible with no or at least as little fuss as possible.
    There should be a Linux version where you the setup mimics the Windows setup as much as possible (no strange questions about partitions or anything like that), no questions about what desktop GUI to use or if you want feature X or Y. It should just install!
    Once installed there should be a getting started control panel that keeps popping up till I manually check the box to not show it any more.
    This Getting Started control panel should contain functionality like setting up my email/contacts/calendar by entering my email and password only. No questions about servers, protocol or other stuff (and no separate config for different services using the same email).
    The Getting Started Control Panel should also have an "Install Features" app, where I can easily check what software packages I want to add (like office and such, mind that anything offered here must fully integrate with the OS).

    When you exit the Getting Started control panel there should be a desktop that you can't tell the difference from a Windows 7 Desktop. Right clicking the desktop should produce a windows 7 context menu (including graphics desktop settings). There should be an explorer that looks and work like windows explorer. Printing should work as in windows and the save dialog should look like windows.
    There should be no "cool" linux features or obscure settings available to the user anywhere. If the user wants anything like that, it should be installed from the "add features" dialog.
    There should be one event log that EVERYTHING logs to, no exceptions. Also there should be a "message center" where3 all OS and application messages are collected and presented to the user.
    The OS should automatically install critical security updates and nothing else (for the OS and any of the software packages offered in the "add features" dialog).

    When a user enters this world there should be one and only one way to do something, no ambiguities or opinions.


Upcoming Training