If he's trying to escape proprietary software that would be a big step backwards.
Thomas has already answered accurately, but I'll explain at greater length.
I currently have and use all the operating systems discussed on this thread and I recognize the advantages of each in various situations.
The thoughtless cliché to "Get a Mac" is what I am responding to. Nothing against Macs but they seem to embody the things you are trying to escape from, like proprietary software and vendor lock in. I am platform agnostic and want the best tool for the situation, not what is cool to believe and self-identify with, so thoughtless ideology bothers me, whether it's for or against Macs, Windows or Linux.
Speaking of which (and pard0n the coming rants):
However running a whole complex OS that no one perhaps not even Bill Gate know what it contain seem not the best idea in the world if you happen to be one of the crazy people who care about security to start with.
Look, I fully support your desire to use Linux if you want, but this is nonsense. I've never had my security compromised on any operating system I fully controlled (I've had systems compromised where I had only partial control, such as servers managed by others, and incidentally I've had that happen with Linux more often than Windows).
I am very interested in computer security and am very familiar with it, and the notion that you need to get off of Windows to have a secure computer is just nonsense. The only times my Windows installs have ever been compromised is when I intentionally infect them to study a virus or malware.
Windows can be just as secure as Linux as long as you just follow best security practices and Linux can be just as insecure as any OS if you don't. As an example, the biggest difference in security is that Linux users don't tend to run at root or admin level access. And incidentally, that is something Windows addressed in Vista, and Vista is the most secure operating system Microsoft has produced, exceeding XP in this regard.
If you run Linux as root, and download and run things from the internet that don't come from trustworthy sources your computer is easy to get root control over. If you don't patch Linux with critical updates it too will sometimes be a wide open hole asking to be rooted as well.
Ever since XP SP2, Windows has been comparable in security to Linux in the right hands. Of course, one of the reasons it's a prime vector of malware is that the wrong hands almost all use Windows, and it's a waste of time to target the more technically savvy Linux users both due to their small numbers and greater technical proficiency.
Then we have the ever increasing demand of the microsoft OS family on the hardware and even given the very fast increase in our computers power it seem a complete waste to used such a large percent on the OS.
I don't know many computer users who run into this but yes, this is a legitimate difference, and one of the reasons I prefer Linux for servers.
For a desktop, as long as you have enough RAM (and you can get it for under $50) the resource use is just not an issue in the overwhelming majority of use cases.
And all of the major operating systems have ever increasing resource demands. Do you think Linux's footprint isn't getting any bigger?
Having been around when a cpu ran at 8 meg cps and memory was measure in units of k instead of g, I was always under the impression that any OS should be as light as possible on system resources and that is clearly not the case with any of the micrsoft family since dos 3.1.
Nor has it ever been the case with Linux or any other popular operating system. No major OS has ever come close to being as light as possible, and quite frankly if it were you'd have little use for it.
Think I'm wrong? Then why aren't you still running dos 3.1 trying to browse the web in a text browser and forgoing the GUI?
When you do get a little bit comfoatable with a microsoft OS such as XP Mr. Gate is doing his very best to force you into newer versions that are full of problems of all kinds.
Mr. Gates has retired so you should switch the thoughtless slogans to
Yes, Microsoft likes vendor lock in, but the notion that their newer operating systems are full of problems ignores that the one you are picking over (Linux) it has more problems and that the one you are sticking to now (XP) also does. People who have very little understanding of computers like to trash Vista, but it's a far more solid operating system than XP was at launch, and is a more solid operating system than XP is now, even after it's 3 service packs. And if buggy drivers and hardware compatibility issues are your gripes you are going to be in for a rude awakening in Linux, where the drivers often don't exist or are half-assed and buggy.
The bad rap for Vista is largely not a software issue, and a hardware issue from vendors who were allowed to sell "Vista Capable" computers that were simply not very capable. I blame Microsoft for allowing them to do so, but it does not reflect on the operating system that manufacturers build computers that do not have the resources to run the new graphics. Apple makes sure to sell computers with hardware to match the software requirements, and Microsoft should do a better job at making its partners do the same, but that doesn't make the OS bad.
I am hoping that by the time that no new hardware is shipped with XP drivers and microsoft is no longer patching security holes in XP I will have move completely over to linux for all the above reasons and more.
I hope you do too, but not for your parroting of anti-Microsoft talking points.