No doubt that Vista flaws are somehow helping promote Open Source and Linux. Many users annoyed by the problems with Vista (HW and SW incompatibilities, WMP database corrupt..) are turning to see if Linux can be an alternative for them.
I have nothing against Microsoft. I do admire Bill Gates and I have always enjoyed their SW, but all the issues around the immaturity of Vista makes me feel like a hostage of Microsoft, without any other alternative than to wait for the SP1.
As many users I got frustrated when I found that my new Vista PC was unable to do many of the things my old WinXP does. e.g. I could not use my PC-link to stream to the KiSS player, and the MS Outlook 2003 installation crashed the system, blue screen included, only to find later that Outlook 2003 is not compatible with Vista.
Fortunately I found some solutions for the Vista PC in the OSS world: I got Thunderbird for my email and StarOffice instead of MS Office, for my new Vista PC. I also installed Kubuntu in my old PC, to test if I could get totally freed from my hostage.
No doubt Linux is winning the battle on the server side.
As for the Home desktop, I really find Kubuntu as an alternative for basic users that just do email, web browsing and watch or listen media files. Easy to install and easy to use.
It is also very powerful for the very advanced Linux user, who were familiar with the Unix shell, and can re-configure the system in minutes, if not seconds. For those MS advanced users, if you do not spend time to learn the Linux Shell, you will find it unfriendly compared to Windows, and end up blindly copy-pasting commands from Linux Forums.
Good news is that Linux distros keep improving. Two years ago I installed Fedora Core 4 on an old laptop, and just to configure the Wifi card it took time, Kernel recompilation and may trial and error.
This time with Kubuntu , things were smooth (no kernel recompile) and it includes a very powerful SW Package Manager (Adept), to easily install new software. Adept really excellent and much faster than yum in FC4.
I plan to install LinuxMCE soon, which seems very promising and likely to be a better option than Microsoft Media Center. I will let you know.