Like most of the folks, I am a Windows Desktop user. At the same time I am a big fan and always tried to use Linux / Unix for server platforms.
After reading a lot about Ubuntu, I finally though I will give it a spin. I got hold of a old Dell laptop and thought I should try installing on it first for the test drive.
Install Experience: It looks like Ubuntu still has some glitches, when it comes to installing on my laptop. After spending a few hours and reading around on message forums, I finally got the install working. Overall, I would say Ubuntu folks did a great job!!! I am very impressed.
User Experience: I used it for almost a day, and overall , I am extremely happy with the user experience. First of all, it does not have all the million list of processes always running, like my windows laptop. It is lot faster to boot. Even though this is a old Latitude laptop, seems to be running faster than my state of the art work laptop. The user interface is very clean and it took me just a few minutes to get used to.
Native applications: Still there are quite a few windows applications I am used to, that are not available on Ubuntu by default. One example, I use google talk, and did not find gtalk support for Ubuntu. OpenOffice looks good and it is installed by default with Ubuntu, but need to get used to it to see if I like it.
Best: I like the synaptic package manager. I can search, deploy and manage almost all my applications from one single location.