Contrary to what it may seem, there *are* viable alternatives to Microsoft. Tony Bove strongly suggests you adopt them in his book Just Say No To Microsoft - How To Ditch Microsoft And Why It's Not As Hard As You Think.
Part 1 - You Say You Want A Revolution: Playing Monopoly Is No Longer Fun; All You Need Is A Mac; Linux - Land of the Free, Home of the Brave
Part 2 - Rehab For Your Microsoft Addiction: Slay the Word and You'll Be Free; De-Microsoft Your Office; Media Lib - Microsoft-Free Music and Video
Part 3 - The Whole Network Is Watching: The Message Is The Medium for Infections; This LAN Is Your LAN; Browsers and Your Own Private Identity
Part 4 - Getting On With Your Computer Life: Twelve Steps to Freedom from Microsoft; Where Do You Want to Go Tomorrow?; The Truth Is Out There; Citations; Index
If you're a Mac fan or a Linux fan, you'll most likely agree with everything Bove says. He is rabidly anti-Microsoft, and has little to say that's good about the company. Microsoft's cash cow software, the Windows operating system and Office, is drawn and quartered as being overpriced and buggy. The alternatives are to use either Mac's OS X or a Linux desktop distribution. As far as Office, he makes the strong case that the free OpenOffice.org suite will allow the vast majority of the users to do 100% of everything they're used to doing, with virtually no learning curve. Browsers? Protect your computer, dump IE, and go with Firefox. The net effect of all these suggestions is to have an environment that costs far less than comparable Microsoft offerings, as well as having a more secure computing experience.
By no means is the author even-handed in his comparisons. The writing is strongly opinionated, but that's what makes it fun to read (in my less strident opinion). Some of his statements caused me to mentally step back and wonder why I continue to live with some of the limitations that Microsoft has put on my computing experience. While I won't be removing all vestiges of Microsoft from my computing environment, I will be more willing to question the common wisdom going forward...