"Hello Alex, thanks for the reply. I wonder with Ubuntu if you could walk into Harvey Norman and choose whatever printer and scanner you like then take them home and get them to work within 15 mins? I wonder if you could find PC games for Linux such as Crysis, F.E.A.R., Half-Life 2, etc? I wonder if you could run every piece of 3rd party software you have now? I wonder with Linux whether you have the massive library of 3rd party software to choose from for your business or personal needs? I wonder if your PS3 can communicate with your Linux PC's MP3 library as a media server? If you answered 'yes' to all those questions, then wow, Ubuntu is better than I thought and I apologise for being mistaken."
Your answers are:
1) No, not any printer or scanner, but if they are supported they will work in about 5 seconds, not 15 minutes. If you run a Linux-based OS, you learn to check your hardware purchases, just the way you check the system requirements on the back of a software box.
2) You can find many great games for Linux, but certainly most games are made for ... consoles and handhelds. Haha. Got you! Windows PCs come in second, but a lot of the FPSes and MMORPGs are there. Linux is MUCH sparser, but there's always Nethack! ;)
3) Yes, I can run all my 3rd-party software I have now. I wonder if I can run every piece of third-party software I have now on Windows. The answer is probably not. It just depends on what you own, I guess. Mac users are in the same boat. They don't seem too unhappy.
4) Linux has HUGE stores of software, including stuff from Unix 30 years ago on forward to this year. Vista can't run stuff thats ten years old and it has had its share of complaints about compatibility. There are, though, lots of niche markets that aren't covered by Linux or any Unix. They may never be covered. It depends on how the market goes.
5) I don't have a PS3, but my PS2 can play MP3s AND movies streamed from my Linux box. Bet you didn't know that the PS2 could operate as a media center, did you? The PS3 can run Linux, so I'm sure it could be a Linux client. The XBox certainly can. LinuxMCE is a cool media solution for your entire house. It does things that Windows really WANTS to do, and that MS shows off, but that never make the release. Watch the video: If you don't want the technical detail and just want the flash, skip forward about ten minutes.
Note: Apparently, you use a uPnP application like MediaTomb to stream to the PS3. How easy is that?
Oh, I know that all those questions were rhetorical and that you didn't really want answers to them. I gave you the straight dope, anyway. Some was positive and some wasn't. Computers are that way.
In reality, my machine's operating system can inter-operate with Macs with no trouble. WinXP, too. It can read any major file system from MS or Apple or Sun or IBM. It can use Mono, ELF, and NeXT applications natively. It can serve as a web and/or file server from a machine with a 200MHz CPU and 64MB RAM (really quite a bit less). It can run on a netbook or a phone. It can run on Itanium or MIPS or Arm. It can boot from the Intranet using only PXE and give me the same experience I have with a regular desktop without even having any disks or Flash ROM. It can boot from a live CD. It can run a supercomputer or a render farm. It can do as much or as little as I please with it, using the resources to match the task. I can install it as many times in as many places as I care to, and it never accuses me of copyright infringement. Can WinVista do those things?
If you answered 'yes' to that question, then wow, Vista is better than I thought and I apologize for being mistaken. :P
You're happy with your Windows machine. Stay on it. I'm not asking you to switch. On the other hand, don't belittle people who donate hundreds of thousands of hours to make an amazing operating system by putting it down for not running Windows applications or using Windows drivers or integrating with your WindowsMCE perfectly. Some people spend all the time they have trying to make it happen. Microsoft puts virtually no time into trying to inter-operate with anyone else. Show some basic respect.