Without starting a big flame war here i want to go over the basics of the question of if a user should switch to Linux if that user is currently running a Windows machine. My answer to that is it depends on the user and what that user uses their machine for. First of all if you are using Windows and you have applications on there that you know will not be on Linux and you have to use these applications then i would say no your stuck with windows. However if your applications you run all the time have a Linux equivalent and your not tied to windows then switch and try Linux or get a Linux Live CD and try one of those out then switch if you like it.

Keep in mind a lot of the big applications for Windows do have a Linux equivalent. For example the program I'm using right now to do my word processing is called OpenOffice 2.0 beta and this thing is loaded with all the goodies. Now i gotta admit that I'm not a big word processor guy to begin with but i have been seeing and listening to numerous people talking about how there is no need for Microsoft office do to the fact OpenOffice does the same stuff and is 100% FREE...

As for the browsers and the e-mail once again Linux has that covered as well. In terms of browsers under Linux you have Mozilla , Firefox and quite a few more. Firefox is the number 1 threat to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Firefox was so good that the new Internet Explorer 7 from MS will have some Features that Firefox has.

In terms of e-mail i just use the basic ones that come with any distribution of Linux because I'm a simple kind of guy lol. If however you need all the bells and whistles Linux has that covered to in a program called Evolution. Once again from what i have heard on the net this is a kick ass mail program and lots of people use it.

Linux does have some games that can run on it such as doom 3 and a few others but for the most part if your big into games stay with Windows since 100% of the PC games all support Windows where only a few really big games support Linux mainly doom3 and Unreal Tournament. Again hopefully in the future when Linux gets more users behind it the game companies will take notice and start making games for both platforms.

For me the sticking point is the games. You can see from this site i like to review games and all the games I'm presently interested in are for windows. So if your main thing is not gaming and you need something to surf the web and do e-mail and the odd bit of word processing then give Linux a shot. IF you do give Linux a shot do me a favor and get the firewall up before you connect to the Internet. How you go about doing this may depend on the distribution of Linux you have so just check their home page and forums for some help on this. Another good place to go for support is the IRC chat servers. If you can find one for your distribution you have then you will have real people to talk to and ask questions of.

One other factor i love about Linux is the fact that so far it doesn't have the virus / trojan / spyware issues that windows has. Don't get me wrong some programs in Linux do have security problems and will probably continue to do so but it doesn't have no where near the problems that windows has. This may change in the future if Linux ever hit critical mass and had say half the users of windows but only time will tell on this one.

One of the reasons Linux is more secure then Windows is that right out of the box when you run a Linux distribution you are treated as a user and not the administrator or super user. In Windows its the other way around. The vast majority of Windows users are all logged into the system as the administrator. So if you are running Windows as the administrator you have the rights to do anything to that system you please. Likewise any program you run while logged in as the administrator has the same rights you do and so they can modify start up files and delete system files and replace them with their own aka a trojan. In Linux from what i have seen you can't do this because you have to be logged in as the administrator. Most of the time in Linux you log on as the administrator just to do one thing and then log back out as a normal user. Any security manual for Linux will tell you the same thing never make your main account that you use all the time the administrator account and thats why.

I may end up getting my brother using a Linux Live CD or even go a step further and make Linux the primary operating system on the machine. The reason for this is simple as i stated above spyware , trojan , virus. Every time i goto his place his machine seems to be infected with something and thats with just him browsing the net wily nily. Every time i go over he is asking me if i can put a stop to this. So I'm getting to the point now where i want him to learn to use a Linux Live CD at the very least and see how many issues he runs into with that. I know one thing for sure he wont be running into the spyware / virus problems that he runs into with windows.

In case your wondering why virus's have no affect on Linux its do to the face its a different operating system from Windows and programs such as virus would have to be re coded to work on Linux. Also any kid hacker out there is gonna want to have the biggest audience as possible so they make all there virus and crap so they run on the #1 operating system in the world and thats windows with its 90% user base. 90% by the way means 90% of all the computer desktops on the planet run Windows.

Another thing worth touching on here here is its getting way more pricey now a days to keep your machine virus , trojan , spyware free. Just for spy ware alone you need at least 3 or 4 programs just to make sure MOST of the spyware has been removed!! The same goes for the trojans and virus scanners. Having two virus scanners may catch a virus that the other one will miss so you even need 2 of them now. On top of all that crap this ain't like the old days now software companies like Mcaffee and Norton want you to pay once a year for the updates at one time that stuff was free. When you couple all this stuff together what you end up seeing is it cost more and more just to keep your machine free of crap. This is one problem that you wouldn't have if you run Linux most of these things doesn't exist in Linux so there is no need for a virus / trojan / spyware scanner....

So thats my take on this.. The day Linux supports all the applications and games that i use in Windows is the day Windows will never see my machine again. I have used Windows for years and even though XP is better then Windows 95 and 98 i am just not impressed with how it runs or its lack of security out of the box. And to show you how well Microsoft is tuned into there security problems the only thing they wanna talk about for the next Windows version aka Windows vista is the god damn graphics and how pretty it will look lol.....