What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
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Author Topic: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?  (Read 787 times)

Offline Linux Lounge

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What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« on: June 20, 2020, 11:39:19 AM »
Recently I took a look at LinuxFX (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW6ngU1HnAU) and it got me thinking that these distros might be a bit unnecessary, Linux isn't Windows and it probably won't look like such, and I think that cloning Windows sets people up with the expectation that Windows will work like Linux, especially when you start bundling software like wine

Offline Kalthrix

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 01:34:56 PM »
I get where they're coming from trying to make the transition easier with a familiar UI, however can also see where it would start being problematic having people expect it to function exactly the same as Windows. Also, using trademarked images or software is a good way for the creator to set themselves up for a lawsuit. So, in a way I could see these distros being good for people wanting to try a Windows-like distro. Essentially, dipping their feet into a Linux environment. However, at the same time I could also see this ending up turning away the same people that it sought to bring to Linux, when they realize that it doesn't function the same and they get frustrated.

Ultimately, I don't feel that these distros are necessary. As you said, there are plenty of distros out there that are aimed at making the transition from Windows to Linux as easy as possible, but not fooling the end user into thinking that they're on Windows. That way they get used to everything right out the door. If they're wanting something that looks close to Windows, Zorin and Linux Mint Cinnamon are probably the best ones to start off with. Elementary OS for those coming over from Mac. Can't recommend Ubuntu as the experience is very different out the door for the user, unless they're open to learning a new layout/workflow right off the bat. Manjaro is also getting there, although game-breaking bugs still come up every now and then which I don't think would contribute well to their impression. It's honestly becoming much further and in-between that these occur and honestly, I'd say the project is close to that status. Besides, it's also nice having hardware working right out the door. :)

Overall, great review! I definitely have my reserves on this distro and feel like if Microsoft ever got word of it, it would go the way of Pear OS.

Offline Linux Lounge

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 03:15:53 PM »
I get where they're coming from trying to make the transition easier with a familiar UI, however can also see where it would start being problematic having people expect it to function exactly the same as Windows. Also, using trademarked images or software is a good way for the creator to set themselves up for a lawsuit. So, in a way I could see these distros being good for people wanting to try a Windows-like distro. Essentially, dipping their feet into a Linux environment. However, at the same time I could also see this ending up turning away the same people that it sought to bring to Linux, when they realize that it doesn't function the same and they get frustrated.

Ultimately, I don't feel that these distros are necessary. As you said, there are plenty of distros out there that are aimed at making the transition from Windows to Linux as easy as possible, but not fooling the end user into thinking that they're on Windows. That way they get used to everything right out the door. If they're wanting something that looks close to Windows, Zorin and Linux Mint Cinnamon are probably the best ones to start off with. Elementary OS for those coming over from Mac. Can't recommend Ubuntu as the experience is very different out the door for the user, unless they're open to learning a new layout/workflow right off the bat. Manjaro is also getting there, although game-breaking bugs still come up every now and then which I don't think would contribute well to their impression. It's honestly becoming much further and in-between that these occur and honestly, I'd say the project is close to that status. Besides, it's also nice having hardware working right out the door. :)

Overall, great review! I definitely have my reserves on this distro and feel like if Microsoft ever got word of it, it would go the way of Pear OS.

I totally agree with everything you said, they're coming from the right place but the idea of cloning Windows or macOS isn't all that great and they really are setting themselves up for a lawsuit, I think Zorin strikes the perfect balance between working like Windows and not being Windows for new users, Mint is just easy to use generally which helps the transition

Offline Spatry

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 07:56:39 AM »
I have given Linux distributions to a handful of families from my Church. All of them were coming from Windows. They wanted to extend the life of their machines and they wanted a familiar user experience. EDUCATION is key. You want to give them a user experience they can adapt to and you need to explain to them that although the OS may look the same as Windows, IT IS NOT. I focus on package management, software & updates and other day to day tasks the average user will require (surfing the web and email) and they can call me if they have questions.

One thing mature humans loathe is CHANGE! Many of us are set in our ways. My desktop has not changed in years! My workflow has changed very little. Before a distribution can get noticed and GROW, they need users and users who are uninitiated (speaking of those who want to avoid potential learning curves) will gravitate toward software which will get the job done in a way that they expect.
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Offline Crimson

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2020, 07:57:31 PM »
I ain't no helicopter papa. Sink or swim. I personally don't care for Windows themed distros, I think it discredits and takes away from what Linux truly can be, which is better than Windows.


Putting someone into an environment that resembles "familiarity" only makes it more difficult for them to adapt and learn and creates unnecessary dependence on you.


I find it MUCH easier to explain Linux to a newbie as like an Android device, don't even mention Windows. Describe the Software Center like Google Play Store. I say it's best to rip that band-aid crutch of an OS off as quickly as possible.


Plus finding the right user to adopt a Linux OS is key too. Obviously someone who uses specialized niche software like AutoCAD or Professional Music/Video software isn't going to be able to take on Linux as their daily driver. However, someone who wants to surf the web and communicate with friends and family CAN learn, most of them just don't want to and give up before even trying. At least that's my experience over the past 7 years.
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Offline CwF

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2020, 11:52:48 AM »
I totally agree with Crimson. Too similar can be a handicap. If someone can learn android or IOS they can ditch Windows norms. When I first fired up a default naked xfce there was nothing familiar or useful. The experience forced me through the process of learning how to make it do things. I soon realized I didn't need to replicate anything, soon after proved my imagination was better than past expectations. My current xfce's are not even close to a windows desktop, or a Mac.

You guys know I worked through the solutions for those windows needs. Some will buy up to run everything on one box. My opinion is not so favorable for games, but ACAD and other higher end specialized technical software runs fantastic in a well equipped virtual machine, no retraining required. If a few different people use the same machine, the advantages of linux grow.

Offline Spatry

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 07:15:55 AM »
...but ACAD and other higher end specialized technical software runs fantastic in a well equipped virtual machine, no retraining required...
I am with you on that one... I use VMware for game modding tools I am too lazy to get working in wine. I will also agree that regardless of whether there is a familiar user experience or not, there is still a learning curve we need to help the neophytes get through. =D
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Offline Linux Lounge

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2020, 04:54:43 PM »
I ain't no helicopter papa. Sink or swim. I personally don't care for Windows themed distros, I think it discredits and takes away from what Linux truly can be, which is better than Windows.


Putting someone into an environment that resembles "familiarity" only makes it more difficult for them to adapt and learn and creates unnecessary dependence on you.


I find it MUCH easier to explain Linux to a newbie as like an Android device, don't even mention Windows. Describe the Software Center like Google Play Store. I say it's best to rip that band-aid crutch of an OS off as quickly as possible.


Plus finding the right user to adopt a Linux OS is key too. Obviously someone who uses specialized niche software like AutoCAD or Professional Music/Video software isn't going to be able to take on Linux as their daily driver. However, someone who wants to surf the web and communicate with friends and family CAN learn, most of them just don't want to and give up before even trying. At least that's my experience over the past 7 years.


I totally agree with all of this, the comparison to Android is going to work best for the average person

Offline Ironclaw

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2020, 11:20:40 PM »
I think it teaches people to try to treat linux like windows and that's pretty dangerous.
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Offline Linux Lounge

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 05:13:39 AM »
I think it teaches people to try to treat linux like windows and that's pretty dangerous.

My thoughts exactly, it's better for people to think of Linux as it's own thing, or perhaps for non-techie people to think of it like IOS or Android with an appstore

Offline eronis

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Re: What Do You Guys Think Of Windows Clone Distros?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2020, 02:13:36 PM »
My eye balls: WTF did you just make me watch, human?
Joke aside, I really don't see any value in copying another OS to make Linux more accessible in any  means. That seems like the developers of LinuxFX are licking the boots of Microsoft. Don't get me wrong, I love Microsoft. However, Linux works differently and our workflow is much more efficient than Windows one. Instead of copying the UI of Windows 10, I would suggest that they use a Windows 10 machine and try programs end-users use in daily basis. That way you can spot inefficiencies on Windows 10, and you can give such examples or even improve the Linux experience for everyone.

As an example to my statement earlier, I made a 1 month Windows 10 challenge. Oh boy, it was a chore. Microsoft Office had ****ty defaults like auto translating or correcting whatever I type. For example, the word "system" is written as "sistem" in Turkish. Whenever I typed system, Word auto corrected it as "sistem" which makes typing much harder because I miss some of them. Imagine reading a document full of these typing errors? These errors aren't made by the author, but MS Office itself.

As for Windows 10 vs Linux comparison, I would like to give file access example. For some reason, Windows 10 couldn't read, copy or write certain folders on my external drive. I needed to go to Properties > Security > Advanced > I can't remember where after that > Click Search > Choose everyone > Click OK > Choose the permissions you want to give everyone (R-W-E) > Don't forget to apply to sub-folders, click OK.
In Linux I could solve the permission problem with just chmod 777 -R folder-name command. I argue this is easier even for end-user. GUI way is a lot more complicated than terminal for some reason. I can't imagine any of my friends solving such a problem by themselves. They will probably back up all the data on the external drive (all data they can save or have the space to save) and wipe everything on the hard drive. Some people might even think that HD was dead.
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