What if there was an operating system that just didn't get viruses?
What if you had something that looked and acted like Microsoft Windows, but didn't cost as much?
What if it was an operating system that would run on your existing computer - desktop or laptop?
It's called Linspire. Linspire is a version of Linux that is meant to look as close to Windows as legally possible (it was originally called Lindows, for chrissakes). They've built this wonderful system, are selling it for cheap ($60), and almost all the applications can be purchased for a price of $20/year. That's $20 for the year to purchase whatever applications you want - the "all you can eat" model. Myself, I try to hold back at the buffet, but with Linspire, I just keep piling those applications on the plate. I love it!
The applications you can buy for the $20/year are many that you haven't heard of. Most of the are open source software. (Note: If you don't know what open source is, you haven't been reading my blog!)
So, you can't just pick up Microsoft Office, but you get the almost identical OpenOffice (file format compatible). You can't buy Adobe Photoshop, but you can easily get Gimp, which gives you feature-for-feature an equivalent experience.
The only person who should stay away from Linspire is the one who uses a special piece of software that only works on Windows. For instance, many naturopaths use an electro-dermal screening (EDS) system that only works on Microsoft Windows. Folks, you're stuck! Unless, you want to run your office computer on Windows and switch to Linspire at home.
Also, I don't recommend that you use the download-version of Linspire. Go to the computer store and get it on CD (or order it from their Website). I had lots of trouble getting the downloaded version to install (and another person I asked also had difficulties).
Give it a try. If you're unsure, get the Linspire demo disk and try it out. Or, if you're in the market for a new computer, get Linspire pre-installed at K-mart, Wal-mart or Koobox. Since Linspire is so much cheaper than Windows, these stores can sell these computer for between $300-400 easily (no monitor).
Oh -- and plug-and-play with your hardware? Fuhgettaboutit. I had no problems with my hardware, including my ancient wireless LAN cards to connect to my wireless network at home.
You owe it to yourself to try this operating system. I am writing this message on an Apple Macintosh, of which there are two in my house. The rest are Linspire (that includes 4 laptops).