One of the selling points of this ad was that if you have old hardware that is too slow to run Windows, you should switch to Linux. I had just such a laptop sitting around, and decided to load Linux on it to see if it was worth keeping around. After wasting about half a day, I finally gave up and trashed the machine. I am a computer professional who has run Linux at home and on servers in the past, but I still ran into the following problems:
1. The Ubuntu and SuSE installers wouldn't even run. Debian was the only installer I could get to work.
2. After install, the network interface wasn't enabled by default, and I had to figure out how to automatically enable it on boot.
3. My PCMCIA wireless adapter was only sporadically detected, and even then I never got it to work.
4. I could never get Xorg to use my LCD's native resolution of 1024x768.
I know that many of you Linux gurus will say that I just didn't know what I was doing, but that is exactly my point. I am a very computer literate person--with some moderate Linux experience--and I had all these problems which weren't worth my time to work out. If I have this much trouble, how is a "normal" user supposed to just install it and get everything to work? You may bash Windows all you like, but the fact is, once I point it to the right device drivers, everything pretty much just works. Mac OS X doesn't even have this problem since it is built for a proprietary hardware platform. Linux may be fine for servers and specialized applications, but I don't expect it to replace Windows and Mac OS X on the desktop any time soon--if ever.