I'm sticking to Windows 7 - and investigating Linux as my next upgrade.
You can experiment with Linux whilst still running Windows. There are
two ways to do this:
1. Run a "virtual machine" - using something like Oracle's VirtualBox
which is an application that runs on
Windows, Macs and Linux . It allows you to run another operating
system as if it is an application (like FH). So you can run Linux as
if it is an application on Windows.
2. Run "dual boot". Most varieties of Linux will dual boot - when you
install it as "dual boot" it installs directly on your PC but when
you start your PC (from cold) you get a preliminary screen asking
which operating system you want to start.
Linux is free - and available in a slightly bewildering number of
varieties - but all of which seem to be able to run the same software.
* Debian - for the purist - installation is not as automatic as on
* Ubuntu <http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop>
- a very popular variety
that has its own "flavours
- such as Lubuntu
(for machines with low resources) - but I have
run Ubuntu on a Netbook with 1GB of RAM - so you can use it on an
* Mint - another very popular variety - with its own "flavours".
* Many Others!
The flavour often determines what the desktop looks like - Lubuntu for
instance looks pretty familiar to Windows XP/7 users. Best approach is
possibly to try a few varieties running as virtual machines - the only
cost is the data download if you are not on unlimited broadband.
Ubuntu and its flavours operate on a two year major upgrade cycle. The
next version of Ubuntu (16.04) is being released 20*16-04*-21. Support
for each major release lasts for 5 years. Upgrading from 12.04 to 14.04
was seamless 2 years ago and I am not expecting problems if I choose to
immediately upgrade to 16.04. (I can always try it in a virtual machine!)
The major and minor upgrades tend to be large but are "packages" that
will for instance update the operating system itself, and major
applications like Firefox (browser), Thunderbird (email), Open Office,
etc. as a complete package - so no temporary incompatibilities.
I have yet to try running FH on my Linux machines - but I am told it
works well under WINE.
WINE - that's a Linux virtual machine like application that lets you run
many Windows programs directly on Linux!
When support for Windows 7 ends I think I will go totally over to Linux
- probably Lubuntu. Bye-bye Microsoft!
It would be really nice if FH could run native on Linux - but that will
be quite a development challenge!