A big plus one.
As I willingly and gleefully jump from the MS camp, I found Mint. (tried Linux back in 2001, I wasn't man enough for it).
Mint is pretty much exactly what I was hoping it to be; a very accessible version of Linux that;
a) gives me an operational desktop OS off the bat
b) lets me learn at my own pace as I tinker around with stuff
Nicely done, developers. And thank you!!. It feels so good to tell m$ to "suck it", even if its only in my head and I never utter the words!
After my most recent install of XP went belly-up (AGAIN!) I was faced with:
-reinstall XP from scratch (my image was no longer any good since I had switched out my video card and forgot to make another image since)
-wait for hours upon hours to get through all the Service Pack upgrades & security updates.
-use IE once, and only once, to dl firefox
-install hardware, video, sound drivers
-install office suite (thankfully I had the clarity to abandon MS office 2 years ago and have been using Libre)
every single blessed one of these bullet points were nailed ON THE HEAD with one simple Mint install. I could hardly believe it when I booted it up for the first time - I kept looking for things that I needed to do to get my computer up and running with the new OS install. After a few minutes I finally sat back, smiled, and checked my email and started surfing youtube...
Every day since as I grow more accustomed to Mint, I look at microsoft in my mental rear-view mirror as pull farther away. muahahhahahah!
Mint installed on my still-rockin' budget build from '08:
3ghz Athlon 64 dualcore on DFI LP DK w/ 8g DDR2, GeForce GTX 760 & Turtle Beach Riviera
Win7 on my lite build of 2012:
3.1ghz i3 dualcore on Biostar H61 w/ 8g DDR3, Crucial M4 128g SSD