I remember participating in a program similar to what Jan was talking about on say what.
It was back when I still had dial-up internet and it was a screensaver program that would analyze data to try and help find cures for cancer if I remember correctly.
I installed linux mint on an older laptop a couple years ago and am very happy with it and use it as my primary everyday computer. A few years before that I had tried installing ubuntu on a laptop and quite a lot of issues and hard to use. So I think it depends a lot on the linux distribution you use.
I try to avoid google and microsoft as much as possible.
I also recommend trying the Brave browser which should work on any computer. I use it on my android phone also, not sure if it is available for iphone. But it helps protect your privacy on the internet. And of course don't use google for your internet searches so many other great alternatives like Ecosia that Michael Henry Dunn mentions often