Okay, here we go with a super-nerdy post.
At the time I write this I'm using Linux Mint. Originally I was just testing this for work, but I find that the more I use it the more I like it. This is the only, repeat, the only Linux I've ever used that I've ever liked. EVER.
Put it this way, I have been trying - FOR YEARS - to switch to a *nix because even though XP is cool and all that, I dig the way Linux does things. The way it runs apps, handles multitasking and so on is just better.
However there are two things that have prevented me from fully switching.
1. Certain hardware doesn't work.
2. There are a few Windows-only apps that I absolutely cannot go without with no Linux (or Mac) variants.
It's mainly the dual-screen thing. Linux, or more specifically X, has never really gotten the multi-monitor thing right. And neither has Mac to be honest. Windows does multi-monitor better than any other OS. XP's way of doing it just works and it's stupidly easy.
However.. the Compiz multiple workspace environment is just that frickin' good enough to go without the second monitor. As crazy as that sounds it's that good. And it certainly beats the ever-lovin' crap out of OS Xs "Spaces".
In addition I'm finding getting a webcam to work to be a challenge. But then again I haven't messed around with it all that much, so.. who knows.
Over the years I've been slowly but surely giving up commercial software in favor of open source stuff. The biggie was completely switching to OpenOffice. I'd say for the vast majority of people there is NO REASON to use Microsoft Office anymore. None. Why the frig should anyone spend hundreds of dollars for the "Pro" suite when OO does the same thing?
Aside from OO, the secondary biggies are my video and audio editing software. I have not at this point tried to install them in Mint but am going to give it a shot. If it actually works.. wow. If I can give up the dual-monitor thing I can literally switch over at that point.
. . .
There is one other thing which happens to be the biggest reason I might switch.
I can actually use Mint.
For a few hours I've been inside this OS using it happily and not giving it a second thought. I'm not fighting trying to find my way around; apps install easy; everything works like it should.
There is no b.s. with this distro. It doesn't feel like a Linux. It feels like something I can actually use. THIS IS GOOD. A Linux that feels "normal" to use really, really kicks ass.
Now I know from personal experience that die-hard Linux nuts absolutely hate Linux Mint. They hate the fact it's very "un-Linux". This is a very GUI'fied OS.
It's best said like this: Imagine Ubuntu with all the codecs, drivers and so on pre-installed and ready to rock with basically no need to do any command line b.s. That's Mint and that's why I like it.
Linux nerds can have their CLI b.s. until the cows come home; I don't care. It's not that I'm unfamiliar with CLI as I can get around a bash prompt easily. But when it comes to a computer that I can actually use, CLI should not be required just to use a desktop OS. This is 2008. Desktop OSes use GUIs; that's just the way it is. Mint kicks ass because you can basically do everything without going to the CLI.
If this actually works.. wow. I've never used any OS besides Windows for an extended period of time as my primary operating system.
To be freed of the shackles of a retail OS is just very attractive, what can I say.