Key Takeaways

  • Windows 11 fans excited for Moment 5 update and 24H2 release.
  • Linux beats Windows in live USB support, terminal interface, package managers.
  • Linux outshines Windows in customizability and non-intrusive updates.

Windows 11 had quite a rocky start when Microsoft first unveiled it in 2021. But after years of updates, the OS has gained quite a bit of following from the community, and many of us are awaiting the new additions to Windows 11 with bated breath. Fortunately, with the AI-powered Moment 5 update and the feature-laden Windows 11 version 24H2 coming later this year, there’s a lot to look forward to if you’re a fan of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Yet, despite Microsoft’s continued support for its flagship OS, it still lags behind popular Linux distributions in some areas. Today, we’ll discuss some quality-of-life features of Linux that need to be incorporated into Windows.

6 Live USB support

Without resorting to third-party solutions

Nowadays, most Linux distributions support live USB functionality, which lets you play around with the interface without affecting the underlying hardware. This neat feature lets you get a feel for the operating system before installing it on your storage drive.

Sadly, this feature isn’t natively supported on Windows. Instead, you’ll need to make use of a third-party tool like WinToUSB to be able to boot into a live version of the OS from your installation media, which is quite a bummer, seeing how this feature is available by default on Linux.

5 A robust terminal-based interface

Terminal commands make it easy to modify settings

Linux’s Command-Line Interface can indeed be rather jarring for newcomers who have just transitioned from Windows. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize how executing commands in the Terminal is way easier than navigating through config files and settings in a GUI environment.

On the Windows side, you get the new Terminal emulator, which was a step in the right direction, but it still left much to be desired. The release of the second version of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) brought Windows on a somewhat equal footing with Linux when it came to the ease of executing commands. However, installing WSL requires jumping through a bunch of hoops. Plus, this makeshift solution fails to address the underlying problem of Windows having a severely underutilized and underpowered Command Line Interface.


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4 Better package managers

Who has the time to manually update every application?

Like the Linux terminal, switching to a CLI package manager can initially make things difficult. However, the convenience of quickly installing and updating packages with a single command makes up for the steep learning curve. Not only are APT, DNF, and other repositories safer to use, but they are also better at managing dependencies than typical GUI installers.

Windows does support a few package managers, but they still have a lot of catching up to do with those supported by Linux distributions. Plus, the number of packages they support pales compared to the behemoth AUR and nixpkgs repositories, which possess more than 75,000 packages.

3 Zero ads

Trust me, Windows, I don’t need a Microsoft 365 subscription

WA screenshot of some pre-pinned apps and ads on the Windows 11 Start Menu Ads

Back when Windows 11 started implementing ads in its Start menu, there was quite an uproar from the community, and for good reason. Seeing as Windows 11 loves sending notifications about Microsoft Store apps, the addition of Start menu advertisements is infuriating.

Fortunately, ads are virtually nonexistent on the Linux side. In my six years of experimenting with Linux distributions, I only encountered an advertisement in motd on Ubuntu. Unlike Windows, removing the ads was pretty simple: all I had to do was open the motd-news file and set the value of the ENABLED variable to 0.

2 Endless customizability

In my early computing days, I felt that Linux was a bit overhyped regarding its “fully customizable” aspect. But after I began using Linux as a secondary OS in 2017, I realized just how easy it is to completely overhaul the design of your Linux distribution.

On Windows 11, you can personalize your system by switching the wallpaper, adding a new theme, and modifying the font. Perhaps you can add the lackluster number of options to modify the layout of the Start menu to this list.

Meanwhile, Linux takes the word customizability and goes all the way with it. There’s already a staggering number of Linux distributions with pre-configured desktop environments. Once you include the multiple themes, icon packs, effects, and taskbar settings, it’s clear that Windows needs to offer better personalization options.


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1 Non-intrusive updates

Because I don’t want to be forced to restart my PC

The install updates notification on Pop_OS

If there’s one aspect of Windows that’s almost universally hated, it’s how much the OS nags you to install the updates. Sure, security patches and stability fixes are essential, but the way Windows shoves the updates down our throats is quite annoying. In addition to breaking some apps, Windows also forces you to suspend your workflow and restart the system once it downloads the updates, making the automatic Windows updates an inconvenience rather than a feature.

Linux, on the other hand, is much more lax about forcibly updating your system. With distributions that include LTS (Long Term Support) versions, you don’t have to worry about downloading huge (and unstable) feature updates. Instead, security updates are all that you need to deal with. Unlike their Windows counterparts, most Linux updates are pretty seamless and, best of all, don’t pester you to install them every ten minutes!

Will Microsoft ever integrate these features into Windows?

While Microsoft can enhance its Terminal emulator and provide better customizability options in Windows 12, it’s hard to imagine Windows becoming fully ad-free anytime soon. Likewise, I’m inclined to believe that Windows will continue forcing updates and advertisements on our systems.

With Microsoft doubling down on Copilot and creating a dedicated key just for the AI chatbot, the company is clearly riding the AI wave. Regardless of where Microsoft ends up steering Copilot, one thing is certain: Going forward, AI-powered apps will become the new normal for Windows.


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By admin