My wife was starting to have strange problems with her XP laptop which ended up being spyware/malware that grew and thrived in the petri dish that is Windows XP, an eXPerimental operating system by Microsoft, a convicted monopolist. Rather than go through the effort of joining the expensive and time-consuming arms race against malware on Windows XP, I booted the Ubuntu 8.04 live CD, rsynced her files to my RAID box, and then nuked Windows XP and installed Ubuntu 8.04.
She really doesn’t care what OS she uses, “as long as it works.” So far, it does. She doesn’t get strange windows popping up and ironically insisting that she buy software to fix her computer’s malware infections. Showing her how to run Firefox and OpenOffice in Ubuntu was 99% of the solution and took 20 seconds, and while the other 1% will realistically take most of the time and effort, it’ll be worth not having to worry about malware in Windows XP.
I do have one remaining problem that I have just begun to look into, involving really loud beeping and inconsistent wakeup from hibernation. Given the sheer volume of the Ubuntu community, I have confidence that I’ll resolve this soon, or at least work around it.