I have decided that sometime around January of 2017, I will "move" to Linux and continue my phase of slowly abandoning Microsofts product line and ecosystem (mostly because of privacy concerns regarding Windows 10, but also because now that I have tried Win 10 for almost an entire year, I can safely say that I do have problems with the stability and design of the OS). This is not the first time that I have decided to go to Linux. Last year after an "upgrade" to Windows 10 from 8.1 that did not go too smoothly on my old HP convertible laptop, I decided to create another partition on my hard drive using Ubuntu's installer app, and I believe I may have talked about it in various parts of these forums once upon a time. However, back then I was only considering Linux as a temporary replacement until I could afford a better machine, having known about the free nature of Linux distros.
Since I still (unfortunately) need Microsoft's flagship product as I plan on going to TAFE next year to do courses relevant to Screen and Media, which will require the Adobe Creative Cloud, and after much research, I decided that maybe WINE/PlayOnLinux/Crossover and/or virtual machines is not a very good idea and that buying a Surface for this rather small amount of software I actually need Windows for would be financially shooting myself in the foot and will only support Microsoft further than if I just do what I did with my old laptop, and make a partition for Linux so that I can still keep Windows for what I need it for.
I guess the reason that I made this post is because I am a long time Windows user wanting something different, and I only dislike Apple more than Microsoft (though honestly, they're just as bad as each other), and I wanted to hear from any Linux users on the forums any tips, advice and suggestions to help me make the most out of my "switch" to Linux. Especially since me (and my family) have been dependent on Microsoft and their product line and ecosystem for as long as I can remember.
If it helps, this is my current specs:
Model: MSI GE62 6QF
RAM: 16GB (Originally 8GB, modified by the store I bought it from)
CPU: Intel Core i7 @ 2.60GHz (8 CPUs)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
Storage: 88GB SSD (OS), 1TB Hard Drive (for personal data, not that I trust Windows with it anymore)
Cool features: SteelSeries backlit keyboard
I have chosen Linux Mint as my distro to make the "switch" from Windows to because I tried it inside a virtual machine and was impressed by the Cinnamon desktop environment being so much like what I'm used to on Windows, but also more organised, I have heard lots of good things about its stability and speed (I even tried it on my old HP laptop that ran Ubuntu and Windows 10 before I had to give it to my dad, with Windows 8.1 reinstalled onto it because he needed Windows) and because Mint's source code is based on one of the major distros of Linux (Ubuntu), I thought that it would be just as good, and it turned out much better as my old machine never crashed once with it installed, compared to with Ubuntu installed.