Comment: Yes, the need for VMs or dual booting is likely typical for a

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In reply to comment: I guess. I don't disagree (see in situ)

Yes, the need for VMs or dual booting is likely typical for a

large number of people, but that is changing.

And in my case, it's because he first learned Photoshop and doesn't like that GIMP has things in different places or tools are named differently. He's ornery like that. Effectively, I've never been unable to copy whatever he wants to do in Photoshop by using GIMP. He just likes to be difficult I guess.

The biggest part of that has to do with M$ specific software. (Of course, Mac doesn't suffer this problem as much)

OpenOffice may not be a "drop in" replacement for MS Office, but I have found LibreOffice mostly up to the task. Sure, there will always be someone with some special feature they need that isn't there. I would say after 15+ years of using MS Office, and two of OOo and now 3 of LO, I don't miss MS Office at ALL. I haven't noticed anything I cannot do. (save a few excel formulas built in, which I could easily build myself with a longer formula, and are coincidentally now just added in the recent LO version 4 out yesterday)

I've also had LESS compatibility issues with MS formats since switching to LO than I did using MS Office!! To be sure, I don't use very complex documents. I'm sure other's mileage will vary.

Quickbooks

There are some alternatives out there. It depends exactly on what you want to do. You can't also expect an alternative to be a pixel perfect or even feature perfect copy. HomeBank, KMyMoney, and Grisbi are the most popular that I am aware of for personal use. GnuCash suits both personal and business use. There are other more modern though lesser known apps as well. SQLLedger, MyBooks, and PostBooks (which has an embedded CRM package). There is also Xiwa.

Dynamics CRM - you could try SugarCRM, though I've used neither, only heard about them. Sugar is used by some very large corporations, so there is bound to be support behind development. But I'm sure you could find something, though as mentioned, not a drop in replacement. And I would never expect to find such for any particular software especially something so specific. Mind you, you won't likely be running Outlook or Excel either in a Linux environment, so integration wouldn't be an issue there, and if that is the only benefit to Dynamics, it is lost when changing OSes. Check this list out for a few gems that might fit the bill: http://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-dynamics/

If you're using QB and a CRM, you might want to look into OpenERP.

You can, get most Windows based apps to work with Wine though (QB being an exception) but CodeWeaver's CrossOver runs MS Office just fine if you don't mind spending a little money. For not having to pay for the OS, it's not a bad trade off.