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As a Windows user who also dabbles with Mint and Vector Linux I have seen the good side and the bad side of trying to wrap my head around the ...
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  1. #1
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    Why I'm impressed with Zorin Core 7.1


    As a Windows user who also dabbles with Mint and Vector Linux I have seen the good side and the bad side of trying to wrap my head around the differences in getting around in the OS's. I've tried Fedora, PCLinux OS and others too.

    The thing is.. all distros have many similarities in that you can customize them to your liking. This is great but takes work, takes learning a DE (Desktop Environment) and learning how to configure it. Zorin has a great DE interface right out of the box and if you don't like it, you can change it's style. For Windows users I recommend staying with the Windows 7 style. The Zorin Menu in Win 7 style is layed out nicely and is very fast to navigate. It's easier than the popular KDE 4 many distros have. Zorin works like.. looks and feels like something a Windows user can take to right away with very little learning curve. Everything works as it should on a desktop, Right click on dekstop to create a new folder. Cut and paste or copy and paste works as it should, unlike in many distros. All the core common actions you need to operate a windows like system are included in Zorin.

    If you dual boot, Zorin can auto mount your drives and partitions directly from the file manager - something you have to manually configure in many distros. I can play videos directly from my windows NTFS partition or copy & paste them to another partition.

    Zorin takes all the Unix like stuff that Windows users don't want to see in their face and places it safely out of the way as to not bog down a users experience. This is of major importance ! Only Zorin devs seem to grasp why this is so important. A normal Windows PC user don't care whats under the hood. They just want the OS to execute all their favorite apps, they want it to be fast and stable and have a streamlined experience. If the OS works this way, we don't really care if it's running on Windows, Linux or even a Texas Instruments TI-99 ( for you old timers and yes, I had one LOL). Sure there are many awesome things you can do in Linux with the Terminal (That's the same as the Command Prompt in Windows) if you need to and it's part of the learning curve but for the most part, Zorin simply works out the box to meet a windows like users every need.

    Myself, I don't learn the Terminal commands. I refuse to because to me using a terminal is as outdated as using the command prompt in windows. I had to learn similar commands with DOS 6.22 ( Microsoft's text based OS before Windows arrived) and i sure aint going to embrace that again - it's like a major step backwards. The best way for a windows user coming to Zorin to use the Terminal is to use it like we use the command prompt in Windows. We use it by following instructions we read about online to fix a certain problem. Execute the commands, then forget the Terminal till next time it's needed. After you are comfortable doing this for a time, you may find you enjoy learning the Terminal commands and the power that goes with it. You may want to learn all you can about these terminal commands to become a power user but this is not necessary at all for a good everyday experience. Many people enjoy the Terminal because typing the commands can get things done much faster than using a GUI (Graphical User Interface such as the Zorin start menu). No pressure, it's all up to you how you choose to operate your system.

    The familiar layout of the file manager is there too. As in Windows Explorer you have the Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Video folders as well as your hard drives and or other partitions and Network. This is nice familiar and comfortable.

    Zorin comes with many great apps pre-installed like Google Chrome. Windows users will want to add more of the same apps they also use in Windows. For instance there are linux equivalents of Firefox and Skype as well as thousands of other Windows apps. Linux does have many great apps like the Midori Internet browser or the Pidgin Instant Messenger. Some people don't like to use or learn Linux specific apps and thats o.k... you never have to use any of them if you don't want to. These are worth a try and in fact using these Linux apps gives you thousands more app choices to enjoy but they are not necessary and can be ignored if you prefer to use the more familiar Windows apps. Most of these windows apps equivalents can be found through the Software Center with a few exceptions such as Skype or Google Earth. These can be found in the .deb file format you can find through a Google search. To install a .deb file, download it to your hard drive and from the downloads folder double click on the file. The Software Center will open and allow you to install the app and any of it's dependencies needed. Simple as pie. You can also use the Software Center to uninstall any app you have previously installed. Think of the Software Center as as a combination software repository and Programs and Features ( Or Add Remove Programs for you XP users) all in one. . I didn't even get into using Wine to run other native Windows apps but thats a Big plus as tons of Windows apps now work very well through Wine.

    For me, it's not about making a switch to Linux or using Zorin as a beginners gateway to Linux. It's about using a Windows like OS that executes all my apps and works well. Zorin does this in such a way as to never have to remind you that your running a (Unix like) Linux system. Sure you know it's under the hood but it doesn't get in the way of your user experience and thats very nice. I think more Windows users don't want to " Use or learn Linux" , they just don't want to use Microsoft anymore for whatever reason and could care less what OS is doing the job. Zorin gives us the best of both worlds. Zorin is essentially The Windows Experience - A Windows like OS running on Lunix. Zorin is Perfect.

    Linux fans like to say, "Linux is Not Windows". I beg to disagree. With Zorin 7.1 - Linux IS Windows and I couldn't be happier about it.

  2. #2
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    So basically what you are saying is that Zorin is very windows like and would be a good choice for people who are used to windows and either can't or won't change? I believe that is exactly what they claim at their web site so I guess they are right.

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    Yes. I wrote my impressions for Windows users who have never used any type of distro before. I wanted to let them know they can do everything in a familiar manner including using familiar apps to lessen the learning curve. It was supposed to be as non scary as possible. Users will in time learn the more complicated bits of Linux as they grow.

    It's not about not wanting to change or not being willing to change, it's about ease of use for the new comer. I don't see the point in thrusting something unfamiliar on someone who isn't ready for it or simply doesn't need it. I know most folks will learn the deeper things of Linux in time so I'm not worried, but if they choose never to do so, that's fine too - that's what's great about Zorin Linux, power and flexibility, it's your OS, use it as you see fit. Even if all you ever get out of it is a Windows clone - that will suit many Windows users needs.

    IMO today's Linux is not the same as yesterdays Linux. It's is way more than a Unix like system. It's a tool that can be used to mimic any operating system. Linux is a generic template. Should Linux become a Windows clone or a Mac clone to help it grow and gain users? I believe so, nothing wrong with this.. besides.. the Linux desktop needs the market share.

    I and others see the direction Microsoft is going and we don't like it. Windows 9 is likely not to have any type of desktop at all just the metro like user interface and PC users who don't use a touch screen will be left in some kinda of Microsoft hell they will hate - just like the metro UI. The xbox one will have cameras online live that can phone home. Microsoft is caught up in this spying business with the NSA, and has been for years.. it's a known fact. I suspect Microsoft won't be around another 20 years - if they are, they will lose the PC market entirely and only have the consoles to fall back on.

    There is a real need for a Linux distro that caters to Windows users for many reasons.. we all know the secure Linux argument, the power, the flexibility - Windows users deserve to know it too. We deserve better and Linux is the perfect tool to this end. Apple isn't doing much better. I haven't tried it but the Premium versions of Zorin even have a look changer that can mimic a Mac desktop to some extent.

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    I've installed Zorin and liked it so I can relate to your feelings about it. I don't use it on a regular basis and don't actually have an particular attachment to the distribution I primarily use now. All new computer users are not former windows users. Newcomers are not all necessarily former windows users. It's easier to learn Linux if you have never used a computer but it's hard to convince those of us who started with and initially used windows. Most of the things you descirbe about Zorin can be done with any Linux distributions, might be easier with Zorin. I don't think the future of Linux would be good to simply clone or image windows or to try to draw customers away from either . Linux isn't a business as such although there are businesses which primarily depend on it. I think Linux devleopers would be better off totally ignoring windows users and concentrating on new users, people who have not used computers previously, probably trying to work with a hardware manufacturer to create a system which caters to younger users, children in elementary schools for example. I think that if you make a Linux distribution too much like windows, it will have all the weaknesses windows does.

    I tried windows 8 on VirtualBox a couple of years ago. I guess it would be alright on notebooks or touch screens. Very non-intuitive.
    Enjoy your Zorin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    I don't think the future of Linux would be good to simply clone or image windows or to try to draw customers away from either . Linux isn't a business as such although there are businesses which primarily depend on it. I think Linux devleopers would be better off totally ignoring windows users and concentrating on new users, people who have not used computers previously, - I think that if you make a Linux distribution too much like windows, it will have all the weaknesses windows does.
    We aren't talking about the future of Linux cloning windows, only a few distributions. If not, where are all the Windows users going to turn to when they become disillusioned with Microsoft? This is a small subset of the Linux community and won't effect the Linux development as a kernel. For those windows like distros it will effect the types of GNU software included but thats all.

    There are tons of distros that do cater to new computer users that haven't ever touched a PC. A good one that comes to mind is PC Linux OS.

    No, I disagree. How can you be so selfish as to abandon the windows users? I say give them a windows like distro so they are comfortable and familiar and they will be more productive and happy in the short term while they are learning the system. It's just the smart way to do things and we are talking about just perhaps a few distros, not the whole of Linux. If I were making a distro that caters to Mac users, I'd make the system operate as much like Mac as I could. They have tons of versions of Unix and Linux that do run on and specifically cater to other systems.. commercial hardware and have had this for years. A distro mimicking another OS for ease of use is nothing new to Linux, so a Windows like distro shouldn't be a surprise, it's just the next obvious evolution of what you can do with Linux/GNU.

    Since I've been using Zorin I've thought about lots of ways it could be even more like Windows. Perhaps I'd like to roll my own and create such a distro. I might even call it Windoze Linux LOL

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    No, I disagree. How can you be so selfish as to abandon the windows users?
    Most Linux distributions but not all have been and are trying to make their distribution more windows like to get users from windows to swtich. There is nothing new about that. You seem to like Zorin because it is like windows which means it will be easier for you to use as you will not need to put effort into learning a different system. Fine. Most developers of most Linux distributions work as volunteers so they do what they want and getting a large market share doesn't usually factor in as they are not 'businesses' in the common sense of the word. Linux isn't a corporation or a business although there are businesses which make a profit from Linux so creating something that is popular in a business sense isn't always much of a factor. If some Linux developers want to just make money then making it more windows like might help to get users to switch but that has been done for years.

    where are all the Windows users going to turn to when they become disillusioned with Microsoft?
    It's not the obligation of Linux developers to find something for windows users. That is a microsoft problem. Linux is free as in freedom to modify your system and free as in not having to pay. Many people use Linux more because of the freedom to make changes rather than because it doesn't cost anything. I don't have any personal interest in windows as I haven't found a need to use for the last ten years since I started using Linux. I'm not a Linux developer either so that' not relevant. I'm surprised you think Zorin is unique in being windows-like.

    A distro mimicking another OS for ease of use is nothing new to Linux, so a Windows like distro shouldn't be a surprise
    I'm not sure what your point is here as windows is the OS which many Linux distributions try to be like and have for years since windows has had a dominant (80-90%) market share of home/personal computers for at least 20 years. There are a few that try to be like a Mac.

    I might even call it Windoze Linux LOL
    I'm sure you're joking about that, if not, better get a good lawyer before doing that, I'm sure microsoft would object. Hope you enjoy Zorin, as I said , I tried it and like it but have not switched to it.

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    Hey.. I'm a Linux developer and it's my obligation to cater to Windows users. I'm sure the folks at Zorin felt the same way. Just like the Pear OS that caters to the Apple Mac crowd. Google catered to the IPhone community when they designed Android which of course is build on Linux.

    About Zorin being unique, over the other windows like distros - so far, it's the best version out there IMO that is closest to windows. (at the moment, see last paragraph below)

    Linux has grown up so much and is so versatile it's silly to be a Linux purest and restrict it's use to a subset of preconceived ideas that are outdated. Everyone should have a Linux distro that works as they want it to work - not as Linux purest think the distro should work. Thinking like that reminds me of Stallman's beef about only using open source. I balk at this because sometimes closed source is the best tool to get the job done or is what the user prefers to use.

    Of course I'm kidding about Windoze. Lindows got away with it and wound up costing Microsoft 20 million dollars LOL. In the long run Microsoft had to buy the name Lindows off of them to keep it out of the public's view.

    Actually, if I get it done, it will be called "PC Desktop Linux" or "Desktop Linux" for short. Here is PC Desktop Linux's development blog and forum pcdesktop.tk It's a temp place to help keep me motivated for the project while I'm working on the first release version. Folks are free to join the forum and come along for the ride. Posting on the forum by me (Xenon) will be slow at first because I'm doing this in my spare time.
    Last edited by DarkPenquin; 11-15-2013 at 06:24 PM.

  8. #8
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    Everyone should have a Linux distro that works as they want it to work - not as Linux purest think the distro should work.
    Everyone can. They just need to modify it themselves because it is highly unlikely that others (developers) are going to create something that is suitable for every individuals needs. Most people using a computer modify things to some extent be it windows, Linux or some other OS. That's one of the beauties of Linux, being able to make the modifications you want to the system. I haven't used Zorin enough to judge, but enough people seem to think it is what it claims to be, easier for windows users to adjust to. Good luck on your project.

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