I would also like to add one more point.
The layman is driven to buy the latest (costly)Hardware because he has
forced by market trends and enslaved by high requirements of MS's new
OSes. The work that layman does MSOffice-Outlook/Email/NetBrowse-Solitaire
need not require P4 and an XP. A Pentium(the very first) or 486 would do.
Installing MS Software renders your system incapable as it simply hides
power of your machine. It enslaves the layman to use his system like
a TV or a Washing Machine. And that is a sheer waste of resources in terms
of money, human resource, the machine's and time.
If you use Linux you can do the same work efficiently with your old and
hardware. Linux/Unixes make you realise the full potential of the hardware
have. That is basically because of the freedom to write good software. You
never have to dump your hardware and go for a new one just because some
software won't run on it.
Another standing example of what an OpenSource initiative can do is IBM's
compiler for java. I have started using that not because it is OSS, but
of its performance.