Since losing Windows XP Pro to a slew of viruses, malware, trojans and any other form of badware, our family has been getting along fine with Ubuntu and Mac OS X. I mentioned that my wife would have some growing pains associated with the learning curve that is Linux. However, I've noticed that while she misses her beloved Microsoft Office, she's actually not missing much. What she is really missing, is being a school teacher, and integrating technology into her classroom (since having a child, she opted for being a full-time mom). She's been patient learning OpenOffice.org, of which I think she's actually enjoying. Further, to increase her skill set for her resume, she has asked me to train her in depth with Linux, so she can teach others should she ever go back into education. That's my girl!
Now that our family has made that switch, it's sparked some key interest from other family members and friends about how we can live "Microsoft-free". It's interesting to see people think that Windows is all there is in the world. I'm asked how I cope with the lack of apparent software, my reasons for the switch, and how my daughter will grow up in a Microsoft-free environment. They're even critical that when our daughter grows up in school, she'll have to "face the music", and learn Windows anyway, so I might as well teach her now. Well, of course I'm hopeful that in the future, we won't have just one operating system controlling the market, but that choices will abound a plenty-- Windows, Linux, Mac, BSD, Haiku, etc. I guess time will tell.
So, as it sits, my wife is ever-so-patient with me, and learning quickly. Our family is moving forward, and our computing infrastructure has remained intact.