Last week i decided to give a different operating system a go. Mainly because the hard disk on my desktop failed and the new HD has no operating system on it and i havent got any up to date O/S s on disk. So did a little bit of research and decided Ubuntu 10.10 was about the best free to download. It took three attempts before i got good download so it was a good job i was useing a CDRW disk, once downloaded it is possible to run the operating system without installing it. i tried this and it looked good so installed it. basically i put it in the CD drive answered a few questions and it was installed, and up and running. The default browser is Mozilla Firefox which i have never used before either, so i spent the day exploring, trying applications out and putting my important files into folders. i am very impressed, internet, music, video, printer, scanner, email etc all work without any messing around.i had one or two questions regarding how different applications work but there is an excellent Ubuntu forum, You can post a question and it is normally answered within minutes by very helpfull people.
As this is not Microsoft, programmes like MS office are not usable. but there are many good alternatives that are included in O/S installation and more available from the Ubuntu software centrethere is a programme you can download that converts some Microsoft programs for use on the operating system.
A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months, but i am quite happy with this version with firefox and would quite happily use it without going back to Microsoft Windows again. which i will keep on my laptop just in case i find i have to use Microsoft at any time.