But what I want to talk about is the fact that every time you upgrade your linux distribution, your machine becomes faster. No adding of memory, no changing your graphics card, no buying a new machine. With Microsoft products you get a list of minimum requirements with each new release of there OS. This list normally increase in system specs with every release. So you end up buying new and faster machines. Nothing wrong with that, but sometime you just want to install the latest software on your current setup without forking out money or a drop in performance. And here Linux really shine. Linux increase in speed. Every time I upgrade kde or ubuntu my laptop get a performance boost. You can actually notice the difference in speed increase.
I have been using Linux/Open Source software for about 12 years now. And things did come along way. I can remember downloading and compiling kde alpha versions back in 1997. If you compare it to today's kde 4.2 it was ugly, but we all have to start somewhere and the foundation was laid for something big.
Now some people might argue that this is because Linux/kde is buggy and featureless... Point taking, but wouldn't you rather work with an OS that keeps evolving, than with an OS that you need to wait for improvement or features every few years. We talk weeks in Linux land and not in years.
So Linux not only free and open you software but it frees your hardware as well.