it was the "add on" software costs that made me look at Linux e.g Office Suite and it also coincided with a Desktop build. I had no O.S on a new build so thought i would have nothing to loose putting lInux on it.
When i found that i could get Linux up and it had a free word processor that was the start.
Then i started playing with websites anyone remember cuteFTP it was a client to easily connect from your P.C and upload files to the server. Then i saw gFTP
Why copy software illegally if you can get it for free ?
Its something i asked myself when last in Ghana . My empirical observation is that 98% of users are using cloned Windows including a lecturer laptop that also had cloned (stolen) Windows. here is there thinking "why bother to learn something" when i can get Windows for free. Microsoft engaged a "Country manager" but not quite sure success rate of collecting revenue. If Microsoft push to hard maybe they are frightened of Cloned Windows users going straight to linux. In Indonesia quite some time back they were pro-active and closed down internet cafes using Cloned Windows. This in part led to "Zencafe" distro based on Zenwalk Linux which had quite an input from Indonesian coders
Using GNU/Linux exclusively. Have been since 2009. Why?
Burnt out on Windoze with the 2000 version. Had to reinstall so many times while at a GIS shop I grew sick of it; had to tweak it to make it work in ways that I was told were illegal and swore to myself I would not, ever again.
Bottom Line -- it's Free (both as in 'Free Beer' and as in 'Liberty');
all it takes is a little learning, which is a challenge (and I need challenges in Life); I cherish Freedom above all but the Creator, who sets us free in more ways than I can fathom if we but let hin and use him in the opposite sense that humans use humans.
Debian holdouts from systemd (like devuan, antiX, BunsenLabs and others)* and Slackware (add BSD if you must) are the last of the old-school distros that are truly free and have not sold out in one way or another. (Gnu is Not Unix founder insists his is not Linux, either, or I could name him here, as well!)
Eight to ten years ago, at a linux fest site, I met one of the original developers of openSUSE. He told me in not so many words but without a doubt that MS was 'secretly' purchasing a share of his beloved distribution. I believed himn and never saw him again. No surprise, a recent thread.
*It's a shame about Ian Murdoch, isn't it? And the only good mint is peppermint (buth that will change,too, now that its founder is deceased, as well)!
I started looking at Linux after reading about the privacy and security concerns about Windows 10. I also discovered that there are several Linux distros that work well on older computers, so now there is no need of throwing away good equipment because the increasing requirements of the latest Windows offerings. After using Linux (even a lightweight distro), I have found it to be a much better OS than Windows. I have another computer with Windows 10, but most of the time I use this old Dell laptop that originally ran Windows Vista but now runs Linux. I prefer it to the newer W10 laptop.