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linux is an operating system. like windows, it has all the needed functionality. todays linux distributions have a graphical desktop, very similar to windows, so you won't feel entirely lost. it's not consuming too much system resources like windows. i wouldn't say it's faster but you can run linux with a lower hardware configuration. in security it seems better than windows. you won't have microsoft office, but then again, you have free / open source office packages which are as strong as microsoft products. if you feel like you can't do without windows (like with games etc.) you can always run windows inside linux (emulator/virtual machine) or install it on a different partition of your hard drive as a second operating system.
yep agree with faby GT i personally have openSuse installed, parallel to windows (dual boot) some of the linux distributions have live cd's/dvd's to boot from (even bootable usb versions) so you can try them out without installing anything. ubuntu, opensuse, fedora, mint are the more popular ones. it's just a matter of taste.
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As said by storm I think the best way you've to do to try Linux is to install a distro (best one is Ubuntu in my own opinion) in VMware if you've Windows or, better, Parallels Desktop on Mac.
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Go for Ubuntu Linux Mate... I am telling ya.. I used to love windows before, but then my PC started lagging, crashing and became 10x slower... This can't be storage issues cuz I had used only 30gb out of 500gb... I then got frustrated cuz my windows PC started crashing every 2 hours.. So, I switched to Linux Ubuntu and now my PC is wayyy more faster than that of my previous OS, it doesn't crash at all, and it doesn't lag a bit... I am really loving Ubuntu rn.. I found it really really profitable when I shifted...