With XP, getting up and running would often take me hours since there were hundreds of things I'd have tweaked and changed to suit me exactly. Mind you, I had done this before so I knew what to do and had all the parts (Win DVD, key, HDD for backup etc) on the table. Still, re-installing windows is never fun and I had resigned myself to tedium.
Imagine my surprise to find that this time, the entire process took no more than a couple of hours. Really. Seriously. I'm not kidding. I was wondering why when I realized that there were hardly a few programs I needed to install because the majority of the software I use has moved to the cloud. Basically, most of my commonly used apps are just websites or cloud services! Apart from my games, there wasn't much I needed in the way of actual software.
So what had changed since the last time I did this? For one thing, I don't use Office anymore. I switched over to Google Drive and haven't looked back. So no need to install several different components and trying to remember what settings I had used the last time. For PDFs, I use Chrome. The ton of utilities I used to have have all been replaced by their portable versions. My security arsenal (anti-virus, anti-malware, firewall) is simply the default windows tools and common sense (trust me, it works). All said and done, I had to install less than 10 programs to cover 95% of my computer use!
Peazip or Teracopy) might not even be needed on Linux. As for the handful of apps left over, most are open source and have Linux versions. I actually think I'd prefer that than using Win 8 or Win 9. So what's stopping me you ask?
Well - apart from the fact that my current laptop still has many years left in it - it's my games. I'm not a hard-core gamer by any means and only play a handful of titles like the Anno series and Banished. But if I can't play those on Linux, then it's no-go. Here's hoping that by the time I need a new machine (like in 2016 or so) either Linux gets my games or I don't want to play anymore...hopefully the former!