I have to admit that for many years I have used Windows from 3.1 up to and including the newest releases including Vista. However I have never really liked the approach of Microsoft selling its software at prices which I would never pay myself. I didn't have the money for a MAC, which quite frankly is what I had wanted, but had to live with Bill Gates & the Crew.
I have also been discouraged by the lack of support by companies that sell products for Microsoft Operating Systems and then don't support the quality of the products. It always seems that there is always a bug in some software, or it just locks up and gives the BSOD errors for no other reason then you tried to load Windows software and it just freezes the system, no reason really given for the errors, just that it has encountered a fatal error.
Anyway to make a long story short back in 1998 or 1999 (A VERY LONG TIME AGO IN THE COMPUTER AGE) I started out by trying Red Hat as a alternative. I have heard great things about Linux and what it could do for me. The only problem that I felt is while computer scientist could figure how to get the damn drivers to load properly, Linux was not yet ready for the mainstream consumer use.
In 2002 or so I was once again introduced into the world of Linux. In about three years Linux had really taken a step forward into the future and I was really impressed with the likes of Red Hat, Mandrake, and a few other distributions that were out there. Then in 2003 along came Knoppix and I was even more encouraged. I couldn't believe that you could pop a CD into the computer and it would find all the computer hardware, and drivers automatically. I was hooked. Using Linux became more and more a daily occurence in my life and I learned that I didn't need Microsoft and the constant unreliability of it causing errors, shutting down, or just not recognizing that it was a computer.
In 2005 I started to hear great things about this "Ubuntu Linux", and was checking distrowatch.com as they seem to have a very reliable way to find who likes what distro and saw Ubuntu going to the top of the list. I couldn't believe it and just had to try it on for size myself. This is when Hoary was first released and I tried it on my computer alongside Windows XP and it worked fine, if not better than Windows XP.
SInce that time I have totally eliminated Microsoft XP off of my system and even my 12 year old son has fallen in love with Ubuntu Linux. He loves that his own computer boots very reliably and isn't slow like Microsoft XP, and actually allows him to do more than what he was able to do before. He has a built in Office Suite, Online Messenger to talk to his friends, and he has learned to actually understand how to get things to work himself, thanks to the Ubuntu Forums and the Ubuntu Linux Community. Oh yeah can't forget to mention the music which he loves to boast to his friends that he can download and play. They are also freaked out that he doesn't have Windows XP installed and he can still play his favorite online games.
All in all I would have to give Ubuntu my vote for the best distro out there right now. I haven't seen a distro place so much effort and support into its product like Ubuntu and would like to say that I am a convert!!!