I'd be happy to pay $25 a year and always have the newest version of Windows.
And I'm quite happy to pay absolutely nothing and get the latest Ubuntu or Mint or (name the distro you like) twice a year, and choose which ones I care to install. To anticipate an argument: yes it's work to upgrade (although can you say upgrading Windows isn't work too?)... but when I upgrade, I get a good understanding of what's going into my system, how the parts fit together, how I can streamline or improve, etc., and that translates later into regained time in terms of work effectiveness and productivity.
That isn't working "just fine" then. That's the problem with Linux hardware support and Linux software; it only kind of works and often requires a bunch of messing around to even get to that state.
And--- even assuming this is true, which it isn't most of the time--- I'm willing to do the necessary messing around, because I maintain complete control over my hardware and software. I've made my Linux Mint systems do everything necessary to accomplish real work in an efficient manner. It's cost me some time (but NO money), but I reclaim that time with a more effective and productive working environment.
They could go the way that Ubuntu does... say that they'll release patches for every 3rd version as long term support. The other two are consumer grade, but have shiny new features...
And in fact, I'll stay with Ubuntu or Mint. I am so glad I'm not on the Windows merry-go-round.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that Google Docs (free) meets my meager needs. You can even download copies of your documents, in several different formats, to store locally.
Highly recommended unless you have advanced needs.
Yes, I do believe Google Docs is now beyond meeting simple needs and can meet needs of moderate complexity. And I question how often 'advanced' features truly enhance communication.
Expect to be followed up with a "Free to Type" and "Pay to Save" model shortly.
.... which some demo and shareware products in fact already have implemented.
Why would a home user waste valuable income on a new version of Office? Are ribbons all that important for that letter to Aunt Edna?
There's actually an interesting point here, which is that for many, many word processing jobs, all the fancy features are not necessary to get the message across. Something really old (and small) like WordStar 5.5 has more than enough feature power to write a letter to GrandMama, compose a 100,000 word novel, etc. Google Docs will do all that and more, handling graphics and tables. All the fancy-doodle stuff in Word isn't needed for probably 95% of the work out there.
You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page