There is a lot to your question that you may not realize.  I think before 
answering your question, a brief discussion of computers is appropriate.

A computer is a phenomenally complex system of parts.  If you go to the 
website of a major Motherboard manufacturer, you will see a huge list of 
specifications; including chipsets, ports (USB, ethernet, firewire) 
connectors (SATA, EIDE, SCSI, etc) and so on.  The operating system has to 
know how to talk to all these different systems.  There is no real standard 
for all these parts, although many of the basic components are somewhat 
standardized, there are specific drivers for USB, ethernet, drive connectors 
and especially video.

Windows does an excellent job of running on almost any hardware.  (how well it 
runs is up  for debate)
FreeBSD is also pretty good at running on just about any hardware, however, 
you may need to do some file manipulation to get your video display soundcard 
or some other peripherals to work.
Depending on what hardware you are running, FreeBSd may load and have you up 
and running with a windows like desktop with a minimum of fuss.  If you need 
to edit and recompile your kernel or hand edit your X windows configuration 
file , it will become a nightmare.  
 [ or to put it in english; if you have to specify a special driver so that 
the Operating System knows how to talk to a particular component of your 
computer, then you need to change the kernel, which controls all of the 
general hardware of a computer.  
Unix systems are designed to be a command line OS.  The 'X' windows system is 
what generates the GUI.  If you have a non-standard video card and/or 
monitor, you may need to specify things like horizontal and vertical refresh 
rates for the monitor, special settings for the video card driver, and other 
information found in a configuration file to get the GUI to run.

The general philosophy of most FreeeBSD users is that we are willing to spend 
time learning about the inner workings of the OS to get the computer to do 
what we want.
From your e-mail, it sounds like you are looking for something that will 
install as easily as windows and that is not FreeBSD.  

I would suggest you look at, if you haven't already, 
which will show you some alternatives to the standard MS software that you 
can run on windows.  

I hope this helps

Mark Moellering
Psyberation, inc.

P.S. I tried to keep the hardware discussion at a basic level and i will 
ignore any messages pointing out errors in my description of the kernel or X, 
etc ...

On Thursday 09 August 2007 12:22 am, Latitude wrote:
> I'm interested in changing over to FreeBSD from Windows, but I'll have
> to say, you guys don't really present a forceful argument to Windows
> users of how easy the switch may be.  I get knee-deep in FreeBSD jargon
> the second I get to your webpage. I need to see an overwhelming argument
> that FreeBSD is a perfectly acceptable alternative for home desktop
> users who have previously known only Windows.
> For instance, if I download and install FreeBSD, will I instantly have a
> desktop windowing environment that I can navigate in while I figure out
> what's going on?  Will I have a browser and way to setup an internet
> connection right off the bat?  How will I migrate files from other
> operating systems?
> I understand you guys have been around for a while, but you don't seem
> to understand the monumental "fear" involved in switching operating
> systems.  You need to address those concerns head on from the start.  I
> need to see several screenshots of apps that I can use as alternatives
> to what I have.
> Help me (and yourselves) out.
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