I have been hinting at Win7's being an improvement over XP and Vista. That is an observation not an endorsement. I know many are hooked into the Microsoft thing. That is fine with me but I do recommend Open Source Software especially to the droves of you who are tight of wallet or purse. Those of you who are concerned over legal end user agreements and activation procedures, copyrights and actually owning the software you acquired will also benefit from Open Source Software. As for the rest of you, buy a Mac (really BSD/Unix/whatever, (whisper, whisper)) or like me, go Linux all the way.
Here in the Linuxville guide chateau, I waited for a particular Linux upgrade. Ubuntu 9.10 became official yesterday and despite the droves of netizens all after it, I weighed in. First downloading Ubuntu (Gnome desktop), then Kubuntu (KDE desktop). Finally I did the online upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 to Ubuntu 9.10, it took far too long (5 hours). If I had a DVD burner, I could have backed up all my files and did a fresh install (always better and a lot less time). I think because I have a mixed system, KDE on Ubuntu, I don't know if there are any performance benefits. Maybe down the road I will consider the fresh install to see. In any case you need a plan to do the job or you will lose personal data and program configs and settings.
After watching Microsoft trying to appeal to my child side in their Win7 commercials, I am totally convinced you have to be a pretty smart kid to use their stuff. Very few of us are smarter than a 5th grader (TV show). Then another Microsoft bashing from Mac's arrogant, snobbish, bad boy, wise guy, the rebel, anti-establishment, etc. The better at business or better at personal creativity and freedom thing is old (we still fall for it!).
So what is Linux compared to Mic and Mac? Linux never hid it's Unix roots. Linux is what happens when software engineers design something for themselves. They have invited average personal computer users into their world by developing a graphical user interface that has familiar elements and bells and whistles. Linux can be simple or complex, small or large, can be configured to run on a wristwatch or a mainframe. Linux is sustainable computing. Linux is intelligent, yet you can do kid stuff, business stuff, creative stuff, any stuff. Of all the Linux distributions I have tried I like the Ubuntu family. It is user friendly in both the software and the community concerning the desktop. Community means you can talk to other users and the designers also. Linux is also a workhorse on the server side, the backbone of the world's communication network. The configuration designed to run on your PC is the superb genius of countless software designers. Traditionally it is called a distribution or distro, I call it a Linux solution.
I only have one out cry, "Stella! Stella!, err a, how is Linux free? How can they do this for free? They don't. Many software designers work for firms, get paid to develop Linux. Money is made selling CD/DVD's and on support services and custom designing systems. So, you can buy the disc, the services or download Linux for free. It is similar for Open Source Software, and if you want you can donate funds to support it, you can.
At first it was kind of awkward to leave the Mic and Mac show behind, now I love it and don't lack anything. So, once again I leave it up to you to choose. Under the current definitions of sustainability, Linux is sustainable computing!!!