I would have to say I am well above average when it comes to computers, but I am far from being a guru of any sorts. For years I have been an advocate of Microsoft for its simplicity and ease of use. Thanks to Windows Internet Explorer 7, I am eating my words.
I have never thought that Windows Explorer (or any other Microsoft tool with the exception of PowerPoint) is better than any other tool out there. However, since it is used in almost every office in the U.S., and everyone knows how it works, it is the way to go. If you want to transfer a file with a memory stick on XP - you can. If you want to plug in another mouse - you can. Go ahead and switch printers - I dare you - Windows XP can figure out the mess. I was content with this. I was also content with the fact that my wife (who is more technically illiterate than a 1 year old) could browse the web or write a paper on Word.
Another thing I advocate is keeping up with the latest and greatest software. So Windows Automatic Updates is enabled on my computer. That was great until Internet Explorer 7 rolled out. It sucks. It sucks more than a Hoover and Dyson combined. It crashed, it hangs, and it is flat out slow as hell. I hate it.
Recently I was exposed to a few free versions of Linux. One version was Linux Mint which is a derivative of Ubuntu. I downloaded this OS, loaded it onto a PC, and in minutes I was browsing the web through Mozilla on my GNOME desktop (a Windows like environment). Did I mention this was free? Did I mention it took about 20 minutes to install? So why the hell does it take 2 days to rebuild Windows on my laptop? It sucks, and you pay for it.
What sweetens the deal with Linux is Open Office. Open Office is similar to Microsoft Office without the ridiculous price tag. It can do everything Office does. It's free. The only hard part about using Open Office will be teaching my wife how to use it. As I said before, I like PowerPoint. That is the best thing (my Xbox took a shit the other day) that ever came out of Microsoft. Anyone (including my dogs) can run this tool.
I am pissed off that Windows Internet Explorer can suck so bad and not have any patches to make it better. A few minutes ago, I finally decided to download a permanent fix: Firefox. Firefox rocks, it installed in less than 5 minutes. It is fast, it ported all of my settings in Windows, and it even looks like Windows Internet Explorer 6. With all that said, Bill Gates is never getting another dollar out of me.