This is a different topic than usual, but I always want to be on top of what’s coming. Windows 11 is coming out. Who is excited about it?

The Linux community.

Let me muscle-test something. Desktop and laptop usage of Linux over time:
– Now: 1.75% (including dual-boot)
– 1 year: 2.65%
– 2 years: 3.82% or 15.2% (???)
– 3 years: 15.6% or 18.3%
– 4 years: 16.2% or 19.7%
– 5 years: 18.2% or 23.6%

There are still variable timelines, but one thing is clear: Linux will see exponential growth.

I did some initial testing of Linux and am considering switching. I tried Korin OS 16 which looks great for Windows users. Some issues though:

– Steam and Wine display way too small

– For .NET programming, JetBrains Rider can replace Visual Studio and they offer free Open Source license; but their license is a pain to quality for, with no guarantee that you’ll quality for renewal next year. I suggested them to offer a Community edition; let’s see whether they take the feedback.

– Big problem: my own .NET applications don’t work, including the Powerliminals Player and 432hz Player that I use all the time. I’m currently working on porting those to be cross-platform.

As for games, Linux now supports most Windows games using Proton and Lutris, but Fortnite won’t work so I can’t migrate my daughter’s laptop.

Linux is still difficult for non-geeks to use, and I expect rapid evolution over the coming years as their user-base grows from “privacy advocates” to people who want some kind of decisions about their own computer.

For cross-platform software development, .NET + Avalonia + Rider is a great combination, except for the fact that JetBrains Rider has no Community edition.

If you’re considering migrating, here’s something you can do now. Start using cross-platform software while using Windows, so that you’re familiar with the replacement software before needing to learn a new OS.

I found LibreOffice too rudimentary, but WPS Office is a great free replacement for Microsoft Office. JetBrains Rider is a great replacement for Visual Studio. GIMP is a great replacement for Adobe Photoshop (the whole Adobe suite won’t work). If you’re already using cross-platform software, then switching over will be much easier.

If you purchase a new computer and consider Linux, go with an AMD graphic card that has much better Linux support. It’s future-proof.

Another thing you can do is to start watching YouTube videos about Linux. Here it explains the messy state of desktop environments, and why move away from GNOME. Advanced users go for Arch-based distros but that can lead to package manager issues and it can break 3 or 4 times a year. There’s a lot of research to be done.

Now… Korin OS 16 based on Ubuntu works fine but their easy WINE integration for running Windows apps isn’t working that great. Most applications requires more advanced configuration anyway. It’s based on a bit outdated components too.

I’m considering Garuda KDE that is based on Arch but makes software installation much easier. It has huge advantages and some drawbacks to consider.

Overall, Linux is moving towards attracting a lot more non-geek users, and software companies offering Windows-only solutions will lose out. If you’re aware of this 3 years ahead of the curve, then you can make smarter decisions. That’s all for now!

Etienne Charland, Emergence Guardian
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