... even the heavy ubuntu can boot faster on a mechanical drive than windows 8.1 , and xubuntu boots up on my ssd in about 7 seconds, compared to the 25-30 required by a fresh w8.1 install /w10 install. And for the average user once installed it provides everything they might need- chrome, firefox, thunderbird, libreoffice, vlc, torrent client.
Also the last time i had to format my laptop i had to start from w8, and it was not pretty- i3 3110m(2,4ghz) and ssd, 8 gb of ram, between updates, 8.1, updates it took 7 hours. Now i just crack w8.1 because i will never go to that ordeal again to use my legitimate license.
Let's not talk about system wearing over time and update speed. I wish that it would use multi-threading to update while rebooting. (tested in vms, it does not)