Zorin OS 16 Beta Linux distro is here, with Microsoft Windows 10X mode coming soon

A lot of people hate Windows 10, but I think it is actually quite good. With that said, I'd much rather use a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Fedora. With Linux, I feel more safe and secure. No operating system in infallible, but bad guys are more likely to write malware for Windows. Not to mention, Microsoft does "spy" on its users with extreme telemetry. Ultimately, with Linux, I feel like I own my computer. Conversely, with Windows, it can feel like Microsoft owns my PC.

Understandably, switching from Windows to Linux can be a scary affair, but it doesn't have to be. Some Linux distributions look a bit like Windows, so there is a degree of familiarity. Not to mention, with so much being done in the web browser nowadays, the underlying operating system becomes less important. In other words, just having Google Chrome available makes Linux a viable option for most home users these days.

ALSO READ: You can finally run Windows 10 along with Ubuntu Linux on Apple M1 Mac computers

When people ask me which Linux-based operating system to choose when moving away from Windows, I recommend several, such as Linux Mint, Linux Lite, and Netrunner. One of the best options, however, is Zorin OS. It offers a familiar interface for former Windows users, and it comes with tons of useful pre-installed software.

ALSO READ: Dell XPS 13 Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux laptop gets OLED display option

Today, Zorin OS 16 Beta is released and it looks incredible. The updated interface (seen at the top of the page) is clean and beautiful, looking much nicer than Windows 10. It is stunning, The devs have even introduced "jelly mode" which is just a fancy name for wobbly windows (check out the video further down the page). The developers are taking the Microsoft-copying a step further too, with a planned future desktop option that looks like Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10X (seen directly below).

"You’ll notice that even more apps are available to install from the Software store in Zorin OS 16 than ever before. This is thanks to the addition of the Flathub repository to Zorin OS out of the box. Flathub is the de-facto standard repository from where to get apps using the Flatpak package format. It has flourished into a huge ecosystem of apps and games from many independent developers, as well as software directly from big names like Spotify, Zoom, and Mojang," says The Zorin OS developers.

The devs also say, "If you’re using a laptop, moving between your apps and workspaces is even quicker and easier. Zorin OS 16 introduces multi-touch touchpad gestures, enabled out of the box. Now you can switch between workspaces with fluid 1:1 motion by swiping 4 fingers up or down. Pinch on the touchpad with 3 fingers to open the activities overview and instantly see every app running on your workspaces."

The developers share additional significant Zorin OS 16 Beta changes below.

  • Fractional scaling for high-resolution displays
  • Star files for easy access in the Files app
  • Better fingerprint reader support with simpler setup
  • Unread message badges and progress bars in taskbar icons
  • Display a QR code to easily connect your devices to your computer’s Wi-Fi hotspot
  • The Settings app now has a refreshed category layout that’s easier to navigate
  • Easily create app folders in the app grid by dragging apps onto each other (Touch, macOS-like, and Ubuntu-like desktop layouts only)
  • Switched to the new Photos app for simpler photo management
  • Disabled built-in tracking and telemetry in Firefox for more privacy-respecting web browsing
  • Flicker-free boot experience (on supported hardware)
  • Improved support for newer hardware
  • Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Am I recommending you switch from Windows to a Linux-based operating system in Beta today? No way, José! What I am suggesting, however, is to test out Zorin OS 16 Beta for now and see how you like it before the final version is released. If you do want to try the Beta, you can grab the ISO here. Just remember, this is a pre-release operating system, and there will be bugs, so don't go replacing Windows 10 with it -- yet.

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