Ubuntu is a great alternative to Windows. Best of all it's completely free.
Free Software For All Your Needs
Not to mention any software needs you have like office products, photo editing etc are free as well and also easily found in the Ubuntu Software Centre in Ubuntu's easy to use categorised Menu. To find for instance a DVD burning program just open up the Ubuntu Software Centre and type "dvd" a list of dvd related software comes up. You then select the one you want based on it's description and hit install. The software automatically installs into the right categories in your menu with no click next for this and click next for that like Windows.
Not Windows :-)
Ubuntu is based on an operating system type called Linux. A lot of applications we use to day like the FireFox web browser which is one of the most commonly used browser have come from Linux.
Easy Social Networking - Straight On Your Desktop
It has a lot of great features like built in email reader that notifies you of new emails. A built in chat window so you can connect to facebook, msn, myspace etc straight on your desktop and chat without having to log in as it does it for you. You can even download skype from the software centre.
Multiple Desktops = Less Clutter on your screen
You don't have to have a cluttered desktop with the multiple desktops you can 2 or more desktops. That way you can have your Media player and the large file copy from your hard drive in one window. In the second window you can have the Internet Browser doing some research and so on. It is extremely easy to switch between desktops.
Easily Access System Settings
The menu for accessing system settings is right ther on your desktop in an easy to use menu. The makers of Ubuntu also assume that when you select a setting thats what you want so there is no "Apply" button. Just make your selections and hit close. Once you hit close the settings are applied.
No Antivirus Needed
Also you don't have to worry about viruses on Ubuntu as Linux is a lot more secure.
I use Ubuntu myself on all my computers. I have what is called a dual boot. I installed windows. Then I installed Ubuntu on the same hard drive using roughly 20GB on average or more. This way I can use Ubuntu for everything but gaming. Because I like to play my heavy games I play them on Windows because it is hard to get windows games to run on Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is FAST not like windows. Although I have to say Windows 7 has been a big improment on Microsoft's behalf. But Ubuntu loads so fast. It is also a great idea for older machines because the actual operating system only takes up 1-2GB of space and runs very well on old systems.
Try It Before You Install
Ubuntu can be downloaded and put onto a CD. You can then either boot into the CD and install it or you can "Run" Ubuntun to try it without any change to your computer or installation needed straight from the CD. Visit http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download For more details on how to do that.
You can check youtube for videos on the new Ubuntu 10.10 and a really cool add-on called Compiz Fusion to show you some really cool 3D stuff you can do with your desktop and also turn the multiple desktops to have 3 changes between them with a cube shape etc. Compiz allows windows to close in flames etc. It is a really fun add-on to play with and can make Ubuntun look truly awesome with a little tweaking of the settings.
Visit http://www.ubuntu.com/ for more details.