Posted 04 December 2007 - 03:01 AM
As mentioned, there WILL be a learning curve, especially if you want to take FULL advantage of the modularity and flexibility of Linux/UNIX. Take advantage of the Linux LiveCd. Most distributions have them. I have installed just about every major distro on about 50 random PCs over the last 2 years and have had only a handful of of issues that took longer than a day or two to resolve, and maybe two or three instances where one particular distro refused to install. Those two or three failures were probably due to my inexperience, impatience or combination of the two.
I have moved several business and home PCs to Mandriva Linux for 2 years now and it all works for me. At the risk of sounding downer....if you are looking for a "better" version of Windows, you may be dissappointed. If however, you are looking for freedom from viruses, spyware, forced software AND hardware upgrades, data format lock-in, incompatible formats and applications, WGA, incomprehensible EULAs and that nagging feeling that all that phoning home is sending your personal information to some large corporation, then a move away from MS may be your ticket.
MS and the occasional winapp have had a death grip on a few user experiences like PhotoShop, AutoCad, gaming, and some media formats, but that grip is beginning to loosen. Between the distros that package prorietary tools and some commercial Linux/UNIX based applications, there is almost nothing that is off limits to you, the user.
Hope this helps