If you're contemplating whether or not to move to Linux due to needing a specific Windows Software program, your solution is only a few clicks away!
Freespire forum member Art Miller introduced me to VMware's Virtual Machine!
This free Linux application allows you to install Windows inside Linux! as you can see from the screenshot above, I'm running Windows XP Pro inside of Freespire 2.0. You can see that I'm running Internet Explorer and visiting youtube.com where I'm streaming a video.
Once you've installed Windows in Virtual Machine, you can simply run all your needed windows applications inside Linux! Add and remove software, run IE, download from iTunes, access your CD-Rom and USB drives,etc. It's all there! And it's quite easy to install and get things up and running. Art posted easy to follow steps. These steps can be found in the Freespire Wiki here.
In a nutshell, you simply install VMware from your Linux repository, then go to EasyVMX (the online configuration tool), to set up your virtual machine. Insert your Windows disk, boot the file you configured online, install Windows and that's it! you're now ready to run Windows in Linux!
You can also add Internet access and shared folders to exchangeinformation with your Linux desktop. (Art was kind enough to give me help with these steps. Once again,the Linux community is extremely generous with their time and knowledge. Thank you, Art!)
So now you can Get Linux and still keep Windows for those one or two needed softwae apps. (But this virtual machine version of Windows boots faster and is safer and more secure!)
OneClickLinux recommends the following Linux computer makers:
LinPC.us LinPC.us systems come with PCLinuxOS 2009.1 completely installed and configured as a working desktop. They also ship a LiveCD to restore your system to a like new state. They've installed current versions of Open Office, Mozilla Firefox and ThunderBird along with K3b, gftp, mplayer, streamtuner, streamripper. A nice setup for getting started with browsing the internet, email, office, playing DVDS, MP3s, etc. Once you have your system up and running, you can easily add any application you need. Just open Synaptic, the software manager and install any of 7000 applications available to every PCLinuxOS user.
Gigastrand International. Gigastrand International will build you a Linux computer with Freespire or Linspire Linux pre-installed. Gigastrand built my desktop computer and it's going on three years of great Linux service! If you do purchase a computer from Gigastrand, refer to my agent number GPA2000.
Kiowa Linux Kiowa is a terrific Linux operating system. I use it on my laptop. The folks at Kiowa have taken the very best of Mandriva, tailored it to their own specs, and made it even easier to use.