Zorin OS 16 Lite is the Windows 11 alternative you’ve been waiting for

Alexandru Poloboc
by Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor, as well as TV and radio... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • It's a known fact that many users can't upgrade to Windows 11 because of old hardware.
  • But if you don't want to stay on Windows 10, there is an interesting alternative for you.
  • Zorin OS 16 Lite has just been released and more than one million users already have it.
  • It's a Linux-based operating system, and you can run a lot of the Windows apps on it.
zorin os

Ever since Windows 11 came out, at the beginning of October, a lot of us have been contemplating upgrading to the new operating system.

Whether we’re just too used to Windows 10, afraid of the new, or just don’t have compatible hardware to run it, many haven’t taken this leap yet.

However, if you find yourself in the third category, which means that your device is incompatible with Microsoft’s new OS, but are looking for a new experience, then we have something neat to show you.

Can’t run Windows 11? Take Zorin OS 16 Lite out for a spin

So, if you want something new and feel like switching to Linux but don’t know which operating system to choose for your old PC, we might be able to help you with that.

Zorin OS 16 Lite, which was actually released today, should be an excellent Linux-based Windows 11 alternative for aging devices.

Although its distribution is based on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS and uses Xfce 4.16 as its desktop environment, Zorin is actually going to feel rather familiar to Windows users.

It comes with pre-installed software, which makes it great for beginners, who can start using it right after installation, and, it even offers a simple way to install and run Windows programs.

And it even looks almost exactly like Windows 11, making this transition even smoother than you might actually expect.

Developers stated that Zorin OS 16 has been refreshed with a revamped and refined appearance out of the box.

They’ve also introduced a new, more polished default theme that’s easier on the eyes. You’ll find detailed touches and delightful animations throughout the system that elevate your computing experience.

The new OS comes with new artwork and desktop wallpapers, greeting you with a dynamic wallpaper that changes based on the time of the day.

Zorin OS now comes with a built-in database that detects popular Windows installer files, so that the system can guide you through the installation process. If the system recognizes the .exe or .msi file you double-clicked on, it will automatically suggest you to install the app or game (or its closest alternative) from the recommended source, whether it’s a native package in the Software store or a Linux-optimized installer for a PC game in Lutris or Steam. It also provides you with a simple and informed option to install Windows App Support if you wish to run the Windows version of the app or game.

The Zorin OS 16 desktop is a lot more customizable than the Windows 11 one, thanks to new settings for the taskbar and panel. If you simply right-click on the taskbar to access the Taskbar Settings, you can:

  • Move the panel to the left or right side of the screen, in addition to the top and bottom
  • Set the panel’s transparency and size
  • Display the panel on multiple monitors
  • Show/hide and move the panel’s buttons and indicators
  • Choose to only display taskbar icons for apps running on the current workspace or monitor
  • Change the behavior when clicking or scrolling on app icons in the taskbar
  • Show/hide window previews and tooltips when hovering over taskbar app icons
  • Automatically show/hide the panel intelligently

Some of the other improvements that developers thought about when designing the Zorin OS 16 are as follows:

  • 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

So, if you already gave up on the idea of trying Windows 11 for the moment, you can go ahead and give Zorin OS 16 a try, see if you can get used to it.

If you want to download Zorin OS 16 Lite, you can do so on their official website, which is pretty user-friendly so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding what you are after.

A lot of people have already embraced the new experienced, as the new operating system already celebrated one million downloads recently.

We’re thrilled to say that [Zorin OS 16] it’s been downloaded over 1 million times. We’ve been overwhelmed by the terrific feedback we’ve heard from users around the world and the press. Thank you all for helping to make this the biggest release of Zorin OS ever,” said the devs.

Would you be willing to try this OS instead of Windows 11? Let us know in the comments section below.

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