If you are looking for the best Windows 11 alternatives, look no further. If you don’t wish to upgrade your OS to Windows 11, there are several options available. Alternatives like Linux, macOS, etc., are available.
The key reason is the CPU support, and to upgrade that, you will require at least Ryzen 2300X or Intel 8th Gen processor. The same leaves several PCs incapable (but functional) of upgrading to Windows 11. These are only the official recommendations, and you can still install them on unsupported hardware. But if you opt to do so, you cannot download updates. Moreover, Microsoft will not assure the safety and stability of your system. Another reason for incompatibility is TPM. It is a security feature, and unless your PC supports it, you cannot upgrade.
Let’s check out the details of each of these alternatives:
Download link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
If you can’t or don’t want to upgrade to Windows 11, you can continue with Windows 10 for the time being. Though the latest version appears better with many advanced interfaces in regards to functionality, it is pretty similar. The most significant change apart from the visual revamp is the Android ecosystem support. However, you can also use them with the Android emulator software and the limited Amazon Fire App Store.
But Windows 10 doesn’t support some gaming features like DirectStorage and AutoHDR if you don’t install the advanced version. For gamers, this aspect is quite important. Although you don’t upgrade, you can still play your preferred games without the aforementioned two features. The software support is also necessary to mention. Microsoft plans to maintain the Windows 10 OS until October 2025. Hence, you can continue using it for few more years.
This may not apply to few other developers. Moreover, few of them may slowly move apart from older OS and exclusively emphasize the latest one. It is not a point of concern, but you may perceive that certain apps will not run, chiefly as the end of office support comes close. If you can compromise with the user interface and a few gaming features, Windows 10 will be a good alternative.
Download link: https://support.apple.com/downloads/macos
Presently, the world’s second most used OS is the macOS. You will need to purchase an Apple device if you wish to use it. Windows 11 and macOS derives plenty of similarities, chiefly in regards to the user interface. Both these OS come with rounded corners and a taskbar at the center, enabling you to access apps quickly.
Windows 11 come with a new addition, i.e., widgets, but they were already available on macOS. Exceptional security is one of the key features of macOS. This OS also has a dedicated chip for credentials storage and boot protection (just like TPM).
Apple presents a rigorous app policy, and it allows only certified software to be downloaded from its Store. So, it ensures maximum safety to the users. Just like Windows 11, macOS offers integration with mobile platforms, alongside support for iOS and Android apps.
The key difference between macOS and Windows 11 is that Apple’s devices cannot run .exe or executable files. It implies that you cannot use any of your preferred Windows applications unless developers have created a version for Mac devices. However, you can avoid that if you dual boot macOS.
The next aspect to discuss is gaming. Macs are not renowned for being an authentic gaming platform. Although you can run certain games, surely missed the popular titles.
Though macOS is a superb alternative to Windows 11, you cannot run most of your preferred Windows apps and games.
Download link: https://www.linux.org/pages/download/
It is entirely free, and you can operate it on your existing computer. You can run it on hardware that is some years old. This OS comes with different versions, and each of them boasts an exceptional look and hardware requirements. It implies that you can run it on nearly any configuration.
In regards to visual appearance, there may be several resemblances with specific distributions. But the unique aspect about Linux is that it boasts a minimalistic design that appears fantastic.
The significant advantage of using Linux OS is security. This platform comes with very few threats, so rest assured that your system will be entirely safe. This OS cannot run .exe files, and thus it offers protection against a wide range of malware. This also suggests that you cannot run Windows applications. Certain developers optimize their software for numerous platforms. However, in most cases, you need to depend on one of the commonly available alternatives. On the other hand, you can use Wine for emulation or also use VM software. Make sure to stay prepared to handle with few compatibility issues.
The point worth noting is that Linux is a bit more complex than other OS. Hence, for less tech-savvy users, this may not be a grand choice.
Download link: https://chromeos.dev/en
Chrome OS has made a lot of improvements over the years. It shares plenty of similarities with Windows 11 in terms of a visual interface. Both these OS have circular corners for the open windows. They both come with a centered Taskbar. Moreover, both have identical Quick Settings and notification panels.
Another similarity is the capability to operate Android apps. Chrome OS already had this feature for a while, whereas Windows recently received native support for them.
The key difference between Chrome OS and Windows 11 is that both use unique app stores. The former is powered by Google’s Play Store, whereas Amazon’s app store powers the latter. Several users are not content with this aspect since it implies that Windows users will gain access to a smaller library of apps. However, this issue can be resolved through sideloading support.
Another key difference is the Win32 app’s support. Chrome OS does not come with this support. It implies that you cannot operate your favorite Windows software. Therefore, Chrome OS is relatively safer, primarily due to the sandboxing support. Because malware typically comes in .exe format, it rests assured that your device is fully secure every time.
Chrome OS is famous for providing extensive support for Android apps and web apps. You can also operate Linux software on specific models.
To use this OS, you need to buy a Chromebook, which is perhaps not feasible for many users. If you don’t want to purchase a new computer, you can operate Chrome OS on any device with older Windows since the hardware requirements are similar or lesser than Windows 11.
In terms of software, Google does not provide an official version ahead of the Chrome OS’ versions to manufacturers to install on the latest PCs.
Download link: https://ubuntu.com/download
Ubuntu is a highly prevalent Linux distribution, presenting outstanding software support. Primarily, it is used in business premises, but it is also extensively used on standard desktop computers. It offers a simple yet excellent UI and a fantastic UI software store to meet all your software needs.
Like Windows 11, Ubuntu presents an appealing look that adds rounded corners to all user interface elements.
Windows 11 presents specific changes to the File Explorer to make it appear more sophisticated without any clutter. So, in terms of appearance, it is a bit identical to the file manager on Ubuntu.
The dock on Ubuntu is positioned at the left side, by default. However, you can customize its location easily. Also, you can keep it at the center, just like Windows 11.
In Ubuntu, the Start Menu is revamped, and it is more streamlined. It only displays pinned apps as well as used apps and files. You can explore all apps if you want.
You can download themes on the Windows 11 system, but since Ubuntu is highly customizable, Windows 11 does not compete with it in this matter.
When it comes to multitasking, Windows 11 is a better alternative. This is because it supports window snapping out of the box.
The hardware requirements for Ubuntu are not so demanding. Moreover, the latest version of this OS must run flawlessly on any dual-core PC which contains a dedicated graphics card with a minimum of 256MB of memory.
This varies significantly based on the desktop environment you are using and some distributions like Lubuntu or Xubuntu, which would work on PCs that are 10 years older. In terms of hardware requirements, Ubuntu is much more accessible than Windows 11.
Ubuntu doesn’t need a TPM chip; it can work with the majority of the processors. So, you need not be concerned about compatibility issues because Ubuntu distributions must be compatible on a 32-bit or 64-bit PC.
Ubuntu doesn’t need antivirus software because Linux has a significantly smaller userbase. Hence, there is not much malware developed explicitly for Linux.
Unlike Windows 11, Ubuntu cannot handle Win32 apps. The only method to run them is to use a compatibility layer known as Wine.
In terms of pricing, Ubuntu excels over Windows 11. Since Windows 11 is proprietary software, you need to buy a license to install it over a single PC. Conversely, Ubuntu is entirely free; no need to buy any license to use it. Moreover, you can install it on any number of computers you like, whether for commercial or personal usage.
Ubuntu comes with a learning curve and seems slightly more complex to use than Windows 11. It demands a fundamental understanding of the Terminal. So, make sure you at least know the basic commands.
Download link: https://manjaro.org/download/
Manjaro is known as one of the Linux distributions, which has enticed much attention through its appealing features. It is a professional Linux distribution with an appropriate substitute for existing macOS and Windows users. Through this OS, you can access the open-source. It is easy to access Manjaro through its user-friendly and elegant graphical interface. This aspect has attracted several users in the field of open-source software development.
Similar to plenty of other distributions, this Linux distribution lets you install thousands of free tools in different repositories. These tools you can easily download and install on your system. Manjaro’s official and Community editions provide a wide range of Desktop Environments.
Download link: https://zorin.com/os/download/
Enhance the power of your computer with the Zorin OS 16. It is suitable for programmers, multimedia professionals, and gamers. Because this OS is based in Ubuntu, this program’s broad range of applications would suffice all your expectations.
It is possible to customize the Zorin OS 16 OS to let it appear like Windows or macOS. Also, this OS presents useful tools like PlayOnLinux and Wine to run Windows programs on Linux safely. Furthermore, this OS is updated with Ubuntu and offers cutting-edge features. Through this OS, your programs always stay updated.
Zorin also presents an exclusive feature for Android users, i.e., it allows you to connect your smartphone and PC via Zorin connect. So, controlling the computer and sharing files are now streamlined. The only drawback of Zorin OS 16 is its high volume as compared to few other Linux distributions. But it is OK to compromise with this drawback considering its vast possibilities.