|Ubuntu 12.10 With Gnome 3.6|
Linux used to be "just for geeks," but when my moms desktop had a catastrophic failure, and buying a new one was not in the cards for a few months, I took my sisters age old Windows laptop, blew the dust off, installed Ubuntu (a free Linux system) and hooked up a mouse, monitor, and keyboard. The whole family used the machine with no issue (other than my mom not being able to sync her iPod).
Why would you want to use Linux?
-You hate windows 8
-You don't like to spend money on software
-You want a computer with more customization
-Its very easy to install along side of your windows system
-It is very fast
Why would you want to avoid Linux
-You're happy with your current OS
-You don't mind spending money on software
-...that is all I can really think of
For the record, I think windows 8 is great on touch screen devices, see my post here.
If you are intrigued, your in luck, in the next day or two, I will post easy to follow, detailed instructions! Please check back! Linux is getting easier and easier to use, and more and more popular. In fact, the most popular mobile OS in the world, Android, is actually a "flavor" of Linux.