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How to switch an old Windows laptop to Linux
Don’t toss your old Windows laptop — give it a new OS! In the words of security expert Steven Vaughan-Nichols: "Desktop Linux can run on your Windows 7 (and older) laptops and desktops. Machines that would bend and break under the load of Windows 10 will run like a charm. And today’s desktop Linux distributions are as easy to use as Windows or macOS."
By the federal government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP) count in October 2020, 3.2 percent of computer users still are on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft no longer supports it for free. If you have an older system but are worried that it won’t support Windows 10 — or if you simply don’t want to deal with Windows anymore — I have a suggestion: Switch to desktop Linux.
And if you’re worried about being able to run Windows applications — don’t. For instance, you can run the free Office Online, which comes with limited versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Linux. Teams now runs on Linux. Skype has long been available on Linux. And Microsoft’s exporting its new Edge web browser to Linux. The full Office 365 suite will be coming to Linux soon — it’s only a matter of when.