As an aside... while things have improved quite a bit over the past couple of years, WiFi is the one area where driver support on Linux can still be a challenge. If you happen to have a WiFi chipset that is well-supported, it "just works". If you don't, then you get the sort of situation outlined in the pages we've been linking in this thread.
Getting problematic WiFi chipsets to work is still possible, but may require a bit of tinkering. Worst case you should be able to use the Windows XP driver using ndiswrapper, but that's a last resort.
Proprietary Windows-only firmware FTL...
If the world isn't making sense to you, you're either drinking too much or not drinking enough.