Microsoft Wants to Teach You How to Install Linux

Microsoft Wants to Teach You How to Install Linux

I never thought I’d be leaning on Microsoft to teach me how to install Linux, but here we are. The Windows maker quietly published a support page with instructions on how to install Linux on, presumably, a machine that once used Windows. The Register caught on to the page’s existence and, honestly, the step-by-step is legit. Microsoft even mentions installing a few of the most popular distros.

The best part of this whole thing is the way Microsoft describes Linux from the start:

Linux is an operating system, similar to Windows, but with many different versions due to the nature of being open source and fully customizable.

By its admittance, Microsoft calls Linux “fully customisable.” But those who have used these UNIX-based platforms before and even those of us who have been on Android a long time can recall many times when that ability for customization has come back to bite us. It’s why I stay safely in the arms of Microsoft and its software. Sure, Windows might constantly yell at me to keep using the Edge browser instead of Google Chrome, but I’ve learned how to ignore it all and continue with my life despite the platform’s kinks.

Of course, no Microsoft help is without a sprinkling of reminders of how you rely on its apps and services to get things done. The company frequently drops names throughout the thorough how-to, including Azure for cloud services, Outlook, Work, and even the dreaded Teams. Its first suggestion for starting with Linux is to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which installs it alongside whatever version of Windows is making all your hardware work together. That is a good way to get started with Linux for beginners, but it’s very clearly coded in bits of “don’t forget who made you first, it was Daddy Microsoft.”

The Register thinks part of the objective of this page, besides offering aid, is to give aging Windows machines another chance at life. Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 or 8, and Windows 10 is quickly nearing extinction, too. But I’m not one to dismiss helpful support pages from the big companies. I’ve relied on them countless times throughout my computing life and I like that Microsoft made this one especially easy to follow along. I do not feel overwhelmed by the way it’s penned, though it’s a good idea to have a little bit of computer confidence if Linux is something you want to try out.

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