Well, what are you waiting for a golden invitation? You want a coupon? You want me to come over and force you to look at it? Nah, even when things are had for free, you can't force people to get into it. But a little enticement here and there doesn't hurt. My oldest daughter needs a laptop and ask me to check out the HP's since I have an account. She also needs some MS windows stuff for business purposes. It is sad but I must give her what she wants. I think the investment in hardware and software is too big for my budget. I myself don't have a need for MS products being a home user. I am not under the illusion that MS stuff is the defacto standard. As long as I can read/write MS document standard file types I can get around having to purchase MS products. Alright, what do I have against MS stuff? Cost issues, ownership/license issues, security issues, and then there is the stuff most users don't care about, big corporation market manipulation and domination, political clout, and the spreading of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) about anything not MS. What about Apple? Come on, they are exclusive and high priced. If you want them, you can get them.
I bought an HP desktop, a Pavilion a1030e to be exact. Has a 80gig HD, 512 ram, 64-bit CPU, a CD burner and loaded with XP, MS Works (not Office compatible), the usual MS minimal tools. I could do all of my computing task in a limited way. But needed a serious upgrade if I wanted to get some real work done. Good thing for MS Windows compatible open source software that I could download and install for free. I have enhanced and upgraded my computer for little or no cost and not increased MS coffers. And I have not bought any other professional grade software simply because it was the "standard". I have known many who just had to have Photoshop, MS Office, and others. Imagine buying Photoshop just to have it so you perhaps could work on some family photos or doodle a little. No wonder there are so many pirated copies out there.
What do you get with Linux that makes it so attractive? You have to sit a while, the list is extensive, but I'll just tell you a little. With my small but powerful Wolvix installation (about 460MB), I got the complete Open Office.org suite, 2 email programs, calender, several graphics programs including the Gimp (like Photoshop) and Blender 3D, multimedia stuff, games, utilities, tools, etc, etc, etc. I didn't need to buy anything extra. All the file formats that MS Windows stuff can dish out Linux programs can read/write with the exception of propriety ones. So, for average and personal computing needs you can have it all without straining the wallet or spending all sorts of time downloading freeware. But can you run and play MS Windows stuff in Linux? I guess, but why? You can do it with a program called Wine or Crossover office and you could install MS Windows as a virtual machine in VMware or VirtualBox. But, then Linux is very adequate to replace MS Windows completely. Now you can argue with me about polish and quality and familiarity and what not, but you have to admit, it's pretty darn good for free. If you feel guilty about using free stuff, you can always donate cash to support it. All would be appreciated, I'm sure.
That's all for now folks, I have given you a piece of my mind.