Now, we should say straight away that this is not an official release from Microsoft. Instead, it appears to be a modified version of the Linux Lite 4.8 LTS distro made to look like Windows 10 with the default background wallpaper and custom icons.
Windows 12 Lite was spotted by a reddit user at a local computer sale, and according to the ‘documentation’ that comes with the software (which is actually a crudely-printed sheet of A4), using Windows 12 Lite means “No upgrading when ever you want to work. No upgrades that fail so you cannot upgrade” – clearly referencing Windows 10’s recent travails.
It also makes the bold claim that there are “no virus or ransomware” as “Windows 12 is immune from these nasties.”
It also says that Windows 12 Lite is “more than three times faster than Windows 10” and “boots in about 15 seconds.”
As well as the badly-printed out manual, there is also a rather ropey-looking website, which at least is honest about it being Linux Lite 4.8 LTS made to look like Windows 10.
Apparently, the seller was offering DVDs of Windows 12 Lite for £15 (around $20, AU$30) at the computer sale – and while that’s certainly cheaper than a Windows 10 licence you should never buy random software like that – and you should never pay to use free Linux distros like Linux Lite.
Is Linux the way to go?
While Windows 12 Lite is clearly not going to replace Windows 10, it does raise some interesting points about how Linux could be a good alternative for people who are getting sick of Microsoft’s mishandling of Windows 10.
There are many lightweight distros out there that run much faster than Windows 10 – especially on older hardware, and because not as many people use Linux versus Windows, there are fewer viruses and malware threats as well.
And, as Windows 12 Lite shows, you can configure Linux to look and behave very similar to Windows. Check out our pick of the best Linux distros for beginners for better choices for replacing Windows 10 with Linux.
- These are the best Linux distros of 2020