Migrating to a New Operating System? Consider These Frist

I do not know about you, but for me, I am feeling sick and bored of the look and feel of my existing operating system. After using that operating system for quite some years now, I want a change in the operating system on my PC and am currently weighing the different options that I have. For those who do not know, my current Operating System is Windows XP.

In this post, I would be discussing the Issues in migrating from one operating system to another. I would not be discussing about which operating system you should opt for and why. Instead, this discussion would be a general one highlighting the pros and cons of migrating to a new operating system as a user.

What are the options?
First Things First. When you are planning to migrate to another operating system, there are a few limited options to select from
a. Upgrade of Existing Operating System
This means, at the very core, the Operating System would remain the same and the only thing that is going to change is the Version. Say for instance you are planning to migrate to Windows 7 from your existing Windows based operating System. In this case, there are less issues and hassles.

b. A New Operating System
You are totally dissatisfied from the existing operating system (there may be several reasons) or you want to change the operating system just for the sake of getting something that would allow you to use many other applications. Say for example you are planning to migrate to Mac or Windows just because there are some applications that just won’t run on your existing Linux System. This involves a lot of issues and it will take time to get used to the new operating system.

What are the Issues?

1. Interface
The Interface is the biggest issue that haunts a computer user when thinking of migrating to another operating system. Over the period of time we get so much used to the operating system that any change in the interface is not acceptable to us. This is one of the main reasons that Windows  
Operating system did not let go of the Classic Start Menu that it introduced in Windows 95, even though it has now introduced Windows 7 (the 8th version in the series of Microsoft Windows starting from Windows 95).

2. Applications
Almost all of the users of computers have a set of applications that they use. Now, when changing their operating system, if they are told that any of these applications will not work, users will not want to change their operating system. This is very true in case of Designers and Multimedia Authors.

3. Application Keystrokes
Changing the operating system may not only affect the set of applications that can be used but it can also affect the keystrokes that you are accustomed to. How about this - you are accustomed to using CTRL S to save a file on one operating system and on the new operating system it requires you to save using CTRL A. You would end up many a times using CTRL S (trying to save the file) but each time you would end up in getting something else done.

4. Shortcuts
When using windows on a computer we have accustomed ourselves that in case the mouse doesn’t work we can quite easily open the start button by pressing the Windows Key and viola the start button pops up as if we clicked it suing the mouse. Again if we want to run/open the windows explorer, we press the Windows Key and viola the windows Explorer opens up... There are so many good shortcuts that we are accustomed to. But when you migrate to another operating system, these keys loose their importance and you would be wondering what keystrokes does this new operating system provides.

5. Lingo
Not only keystrokes, initially, you would also get confused when it came to the Lingo of the new operating system. Say, for instance, you would be told to use the CMD key (On Mac), and this would leave you thinking - cmd... is it a command or something... coz on windows platform, CMD generally refers to the start of the Command Prompt.

6. Hardware Concerns
Well, after so many years with Computers, I think anyone can overcome these issues. It is just a matter of time and things will be okay in the long run.  
But there is another thing that one must think about before making a selection of whether to migrate or not and that is the Hardware. In days when things are getting clumsier due to money games, there are times when you will be using a hardware designed specifically for an operating system.
Though, I am not sure on this, but then I wonder why Microsoft gives the Compatible Hardware Lists for some operating systems. So this issue is also to be considered when thinking to migrate to a new operating system. You would not want a piece of expensive hardware to go dead just because your new operating system doesn’t support it.

Which New Operating System to Migrate To?
It is a choice of preference and also the tasks that you are planning to do determine what operating system you should go for.
1. Work
If you are going to work on Adobe Products, you would not consider Linux or UNIX based systems. You would have to settle with Microsoft or Mac OS.

2. Gaming
If you are going to use your PC for mostly playing games, then again you would have to leave off UNIX/LINUX as there are not many games that are compatible with these platforms.

3. Security
In case you plan to change your operating system to something that gives you greater security from Viruses, Hacks, User Level Security and other securities, then I would recommend you to go for UNIX or LINUX based Operating System.

4. Hardware
In case you are planning to have a new Operating System, you also have to give a thought about the current Hardware that you have. Mac OS'  
Leopard version is out for Intel Based Systems also but is yet to be officially tested and this rules out the use of Mac OS in case you have an Intel Based system. Similarly, Microsoft is not a choice for people who have MAC. It simply won’t install.

5. Data
Apart form the above issues; the crucial issue that will haunt you in case you are planning a changeover to another brand of operating system is the Data. Will you be able to use the data that you have stored using the applications on the current operating system? In most of the cases, if it is not a designing set of data, you would find programs, tools and utilities that would help you in resolving this issue. Again, the technology will be there and you would be able to transfer the data in most of the cases. Yes, it might require some extra input in terms of money and efforts in finding the right tools but that would be a price that you would have to bear.

6. Costs
That is the last major factor which will help you in determining which operating system you should Migrate to. Many LINUX flavors are free to use and have their limitations. Similarly Mac OS and Windows all have a price tag attached and it is you who has to decide whether it suits your pocket or not.

7. Help
The last issue is where and how to get help in the time period that you would need to master and learn the new operating system. On my part, I think, Internet has a vast library of help on all that and if you are willing to devote some of your precious time into learning the new operating system you can always think to migrate.

Now the last thing... I have not mentioned above... but you can in most cases install multiple operating systems on your computer. Though this requires a hard disk of higher capacity or two hard disks but this is a viable option for people who want to get the best of different worlds.

Hope you liked reading this post... Comments would be highly appreciated.



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