Windows 12 Lite may invoke Microsoft’s poor naming decisions, but it’s definitely not by the company. Reddit user hexsayeed spotted the fresh new OS at a local computer fair but is all is not what it seems.

Despite its promises of “Nvidea drivers”, Steam support, and no ads, Windows 12 Lite is basically a scam. It’s a clone of Linux Lite, which is already free, with some desktop wallpapers thrown in. Needless to say, it’s not officially sponsored by Microsoft and you’ll have to pay for a physical DVD to use it.

Windows 12 Lite’s 90s style webpage informs users that there is no need to buy anti-virus with Linux and that the 80,000 free programs available through software manager are “almost all superior than Windows equivalents” and that it’s “ideal for gamers”.

Linux distros can, of course, get viruses, and are incompatible with the vast majority of games without imperfect emulation. Promises that “for gamers it has a much higher definition and smoother” are also dubious.

Obviously, it’s unlikely anybody who knows anything about Windows would fall for this. This seems like a lazy effort to either get a bit of cash or convert users to Linux, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft takes action. After all, the company is using its trademark to promote its product and could mislead users into thinking they have a faulty Windows product.

If you’re serious about getting away from the OS, there are better distros out there. Linux Mint is always a good recommendation for someone making the switch due to its bundling of productivity software and a familiar interface. Elementary OS has great visuals and features, while Tails is excellent for privacy. You can probably can any of these to look more like Windows that the above release with a bit of tweaking, but don’t expect the best gaming experience.