A friend at work has finally got himself connected to the internet. Afraid of all the threats that may plague him now that he's exposed, he asked me for advice, and in return he got the usual speech: Ensure you keep up to date with Windows Updates, install AVG's anti-virus, install the ZoneAlarm firewall (not the best but a good choice for the beginner), install Adaware to protect yourself from adware, and install Spybot to protect from trojans and other nastiness. Be careful with what you do on the internet, but in general expect to be hit eventually.
I did add at the end, as almost a whisper like comment, that "alternatively, you can just install Linux". And you know what? The unthinkable happened, and the guy asked me to help him with a Linux installation; the next day he even brought his laptop to work so I could do just that. I guess it's his naivety in the field of computers that allowed him to still be open to new ideas as opposed to going with what he's used to.
Indeed, on that next day (today) I installed Ubuntu on his laptop in dual boot mode with Windows, allowing him to pick his preferred operating system whenever he reboots. Alternatively, the Ubuntu installation CD allows you to just boot from the CD in order to get yourself an impression of what Ubuntu Linix is like, or - even more alternatively - install Ubuntu as a Windows application. Both, however, are inferior options to the proper installation my friend ended up doing.
While installing Ubuntu on his laptop, several passerbys who saw the act could not contain themselves from commenting. The first was impressed with me providing a Linux installation just a day after the request was made; coming over to have a look he asked to book my consultation services ahead of an impending Ubuntu dual boot installation on his home PC in order to guarantee safe internet banking.
A second guy came in and commented that Linux should be made our standard operating system at work. It would work better, it would be much cooler than Windows, and - as I have added - it would save the organization a lot of money as Linux is free.
Then a third guy came over and commented how cool, nice and fast Ubuntu is.
You get the picture: Everyone that saw Ubuntu in action loved it. After watching me install it and noticing how easy it was, and after seeing it in action to witness how effective and nice it is to work with, they all wanted to have a go.
My point is simple: Most of us are trapped with Windows on our PCs simply because of ignorance and fear of the unknown. The decline in Linux netbook sales and the rise of Windows based netbooks despite their inadequate ability to cope with Windows is testimony.
Well, as those that saw Ubuntu in action with me today will testify, there is no need for that fear to bind you. You can just go ahead and download Ubuntu from their website here and install it; you won't regret your move.
Don't let ignorance and fear of the unknown leave you stuck with inferiority.