I've been thinking about building a budget PC for my parents to replace their old Pentium 4 and I've spec'd out a nice machine for about $400. The only catch is the OS. They're running Windows 98 now and I'm thinking about Ubuntu rather than shell out the money for Windows 7. Neither one of them is computer literate, but all they really do is web surf and send/check their email. I'm not that familiar with Linux as I currently run Vista, but do you think Ubuntu would be a good choice here or should I stick to Windows 7?
Thanks in advance for your advice,
(1) Learn Linux yourself first! Install VirtualBox on your Windows box and set up a virtual machine to install Linux on that. Alternatively, if you have a spare machine sitting around, use that. Just remember to treat Linux as a completely new thing, and not carry the various Windows habits/thinking over to it. (People who do that often find they have a very hard time adapting.)
(2) Look at everything that your parents do on their PC. I'm saying you must
be covering everything in great detail. (including the websites they visit). Then you must look at Linux and see if it have direct 1-to-1 alternatives for your parents. You do this because you want the transition to be smooth as possible, with minimal surprises.
I have moved my parents to Linux...Its pretty painless when you do things in a logical, well-planned fashion. (If you blindly dive in, its messy and difficult!)