I use both linux and windows for my business. There are one or two commercial apps that I’ve tried & tried to get working under linux, but they just won’t (despite using wine & lots of hacks) .
I prefer to use linux anyday for its stability virus-protection and fantastic range of free applications, but I need to use the commercial windows-only apps as they offer so much more functionality compared to some of the free or web-based tools that I also have that offer similar features.
So, I’m a Windows & Linux user. My 3 kids have been brought up on linux only at home, and they in no way suffer for it…they get to use Windows at school, and to be honest, the skills they get most from have nothing much to do with the OS, and much more to do with confidence in finding, using and creating information.
They love using the Freeware apps under linux, and much of the game packages they tend to use are web-based anyway. My elder son has played successfully with Blender, the Gimp, SuperTuxCart and much more besides.
I don’t think they’re missing out only having linux at home…having used both for over 15 years, I’d say linux offers much greater empowerment and responsibility to end users. It allows you to do more.
But there are some occassions where the commercial choice may be the only option…but it hasn’t been a choice my kids have had to make yet, and as more and more companies develop a service-based model for their profitability, perhaps the days of close-sourced software are diminishing. Maybe.