Re: "Tinkering with WINE"
"Here's what I've found: pretty much every app I use on this Windows box is primarily a Linux app ported to Windows, or in some cases an app that was multiplatform from the start."
Yes, I'm much the same here - the majority of the productivity software installed on my PC is opensource and almost entirely multi-platform, and of the minority of commercial/Windows-only stuff, there's only one thing I've bought for myself, the rest is stuff my employer has provided to enable me to work from home as and when the mood takes me.
A few years ago I'd also have had a reasonable collection of Windows games installed too, but I've pretty much given up on PC gaming now with the exception of some casual "5 minutes to spare" stuff (which, again, is mostly open source/multi-platform), with my infrequent serious gaming sessions now provided for by the collection of Wii(U)'s and PS3/4's dotted around the house thanks to it also being home to a couple of gaming crazy kids :-)
So yeah, each time I see the latest stunt being pulled by MS, the closer I find myself getting to reaching the tipping point where the pain of having to nuke from orbit and start afresh with Linux, with the attendant learning curve required to get back to the same position of familiarity as I currently enjoy with W7, will be easier to bear than having to put up with Windows as my primary OS any longer. Undoubtedly I'd then whack W7 onto a VM so that I could continue to have access to those work apps, but the thought of then being able to drop out of that VM into an environment that respects me as the owner of the PC on which it's being allowed to run, rather than being treated ever increasingly like a resource for Microsoft to use as they see fit, is becoming far more appealing.
I'll most likely stick with W7 for as long as I can - it does everything I need it to do, in an environment that I still largely feel in control of - but sooner or later the time will almost certainly come when my primary OS is no longer Windows. Unless MS do a complete 180 and go back to releasing OSs in the style of 7... And in other news today, Heathrow announced plans for a new terminal to cater for the sudden increase in demand for flights from the porcine community ;-)
"As for WINE, frankly I've never really seen the point, except as a purely academic exercise. Windows is "free" in the sense that it comes preinstalled on every PC ever built"
Umm, not quite. It is possible to buy prebuilt PCs with no Windows licence, and I've yet to find a copy of Windows preinstalled on any of the PCs I've built for myself over the years...