Alternative to Windows, Apple
Geeks know this...Linux is faster, more powerful and better for your security and privacy. Best of all it's FREE ! so you can use it on as many machines as you like without paying Apple or Microsoft hundreds of dollars each for a license.
Most people think of Linux as a geek/nerd operating system. This used to be the case until later versions proved anyone can use Linux with only a small learning curve.
processors and RAM at Linux, it can take what ever you can afford
In my personal experience Linux actually installs easier than Windows and does a better job detecting and updating drivers for your system hardware. Beyond asking some routine questions related to your installation preferences most distributions just run and complete on their own while you sip your favorite beverage.
Lots of stuff will automatically be included like Firefox and Open Office to handle your work online. Thunderbird mail client is included. These are the same free open source products you may already be familiar with in Windows so nothing new to learn here.
Updates are typically automatic.
Yes you do want to install and anti-virus but it will have much less work to do. Hackers tend to bypass Linux users.
You can even choose at setup to encrypt your entire OS and all it's files. You will need two passwords, one to decrypt the drive and one to log in. If you cherish privacy this is the way to go. Even the NSA would be hard pressed to get past this scheme.
Your desktop is customizable and can pretty much look like what you are used to in Windows.
With a few tweaks and a add on called WINE to run most of your current Windows programs with a few exceptions.
There are more than one version of Linux to choose from. I personally think that for the average person Ubuntu would provide you the easiest migration. ( Yes if you follow some instructions you can install BOTH Windows and Linux on your computer and select which you wish to load when you start your computer. )
TAILS: https://tails.boum.org/ is a live CD/Flash drive os that leaves no trace on your local computer. This is the means used by Edward Snowden to communicate.
HERE is a review of what the geeks claim to be the ten best Linuz versions for privacy hounds.
Free alternatives to your Windows apps. Office, graphics (Photoshop alternative) , publishing, drawing, email ( including Gmail ) etc.
Dual boot option. It is quite possible to set up your machine such that you keep your current Windows/Apple OS intact and add the ability to choose at startup, to boot your current OS or Linux. This allows you to keep both operating systems intact while you learn and transfer your workload to Linux.
Since most Windows apps can be run on Linux you may keep what you already have including all the support files. There will be a few programs that just don't want to work on Linux. Some printers are not fully supported for all features though this is fast being resolved. There will be a few people who just cannot totally leave Windows behind due to some propriatary softare issues for a program your business simply cannot do without. Quickbooks software will run in WINE and the free alternative GNU Cash can handle your bookkeeping but there is no bridge to move your accounts from QB to GNU cash so this will take some effort.
Linux can read all your Windows folders just fine. Windows cannot read your Linux folders without special software.
Just FYI this web server is running Linux as do the vast majority of web servers around the world.
// Hint for the college bound in IT become Linux certified...they are more in demand and earn more than your dime-a-dozen MSIE.