Oooh. Yeah. I happen to be anti-microsoft. I bought a linux distribution, only $80 canadian for the equivilent amount of software that microsoft would charge about $500 for. And even though I was planning to keep windows because of games and old school work files, when I copied (maybe deleted) the files from the system backup partition which comes with ME and up to free up space for Linux, I tell myself, Windows didn't like this and when I was formatting partitions, the table couldn't be read and I ended up wiping my drive. Since then, I've found that, with a few grey areas, but excusable considering that linux is contributed to worldwide, linux is 200% better than windows.
First of all, most of the progams I got in my package are actually open source. Including the core linux os. Yes, linux is free, stable and if you add in gnome/kde, better than windows. I've run it for 2 days straight so far, no problems. With windows, you leave it on overnight and in the morning you'll have to reboot (The secret MSELVES.exe). If a program chrashes in windows, the computer usually takes a fall too, with linux, no problems. Microsoft hypes itself with pretty pictures, well, linux has that and more. In KDE and GNOME, the look'n'feel is above that of windows, and it never even slows down. With the advent of wine (WIN Emulator, or officially, Wine is not an emulator), soon enough linux will be fully backward compatible with Windows, including with it's programs if you must have them, and no one will have an excuse to keep windows discounting stupidity.
Well I just upped my computer with Windows XP, 2000 98 and ME, and also linux.
I'm very new to linux--been using it for a week now. From what I hear, it can really screw up your computer. That's why i dont use root. so i can't really mount any drives, and as far as i'm concerned, if more people use windows, then ill develop for windows. If it weren't for KDE, I'd be screwed!
i like it
i use linux about 75% of the time and ME as little as possible, that said i think you need to look at this thing from a different point of view:
windoze is without question better for the average pc user that wants to plug in a disk and let it set itself up.
linux is without question better for the more advanced user that wants to harness complete control of all aspects of thier enviro.
windoze has many many more apps available however they come at a $$$ price.
linux uses open source code that is usually free. but less apps.
windoze is teribly arrogant as far as interacting with any body but its self.
linux makes different file systems available as a standard feature.
windoze is suseptable to most viruses running around the web.
linux has (in my humble opinion) much better firewall protection.
so as far as which is better it depends on how you use it and how much you are willing and able to learn.
there are many apps for linux, too.
linux is without doubt more stable than win98se (my other os). wine is very far from perfect, but like any other open source project it'll get better.
i have a 1ghz athlon amd, a voodoo3 3000 agp, and a 3 gb hard disk dedicated to linux + swap. extra space is obtained from another 45 gb hard drive (windows, fat32) using huge 1 gb files, then mounting them like a filesystem.
the kernel is a work of art. takes 10 minutes to recompile, and i can tune it to my computer. need to work with macintosh diskettes? insmod the hfs driver.
my problems come from compatibility and speed.
my voodoo3 3000 agp card is supported, allegedly well, but my computer does nothing accelarated. in both kde and gnome, the desktop responds a second after i do anything in nautilus(like windows explorer). at least windows spins the disk to offer me white noise.
my tv tuner card (cph063, bt878) works fine in windows. perfectly (except for video capture, where it stalls under high stress). under windows, following all the instruction's best intent, it still doesn't work right. i can show video full-screen, in x, in the framebuffer console (of which i have little to complain about), and in the regular console using aalib (ascii characters). but in the graphical framebuffer and in x it stalls over a period.
in linux i have to install and/or configure every supplemental piece of equipment. finding my on-mainboard sound card type was trial-and-error. you have to know everything about your system before doing anything about it. (although redhat makes this much easier provided you never recompile the kernel)
linux is much slower graphicly. why it takes a few seconds to navigate through folders i have no idea. i can't work with files like in explorer.
rpms are hard to work with. i have no idea how to use the gnome rpm tool, although the command line interface is pretty straightforward. because i mostly download tarballs and compile binaries on the go it seems weird working with rpms.
i can't end on a bad note about it, though. good points:
open-source, mostly bug free except for hardware and/or new stuff.
supports almost any normal piece of equipment, albeit at different rates
programs can stall and the kernel is unaffected
wide-range filesystem support.