More how on earth do you get there? I’ll give you the link because my typing is slow.
One hundred ways to get there, wherever ‘there’ might be.. http://distrowatch.com/ and watch out because some of them are cul-de-sacs and others have yet to be properly surfaced.
Ubuntu is top of the list, but Linux purists will tell you that Ubuntu is a ‘play’ OS, a sandbox. Where have you heard that before?
The trolls were always keen to tell you all about the fifteen hundred or so
programs, oops, packages which made Linux better than Windows would ever be. None of these trolls ever properly examined the list of packages because most were utilities or parts of utilities for the hard-core Linux guys. Here is a list of packages.. http://distrowatch.com/packages.php, not the whole 1500..
OK, joking aside, there are some nice little applications here. They may not have all of the functions or polish of the newer commercial Windows offerings, but if you are upgrading to Windows 7 and only have a bunch of aging Windows 7 un-compatible stuff, they may be of interest to you.
From the package list, there are media players, word processors, an Outlook type mail client, photo editors, a desktop publishing program, a Quicken/MS Money style program.. In no particular order: AbiWord, Miro, Scribus, GnuCash, Evolution, Amarok, SeaMonkey, Gimp, Pidgin, Open Office.
So, if you wanted to run a Microsoft free computer, you could quite easily and cheaply too. The downsides are that open source programming is not always all seeing and all dancing as Windows stuff, and you may well be the only person on your street using it, which can isolate you from free 24/7 help from friends and neighbours.
Why don’t I use an all open source computer? Because I don’t have to is why. I have often thought about setting up an completely open source computer, but I don’t have enough time to give it a good trial and I don’t want to lose continuity with what I use daily already. However, there may come a time when I can no longer keep up with the commercial side, and I will most likely be glad that there is a free alternative.