See Full Story
One of the stumbling blocks in migrating to the Linux desktop is the mistaken view that you can't take it with you. Your data must remain captive to the Microsoft operating system. Not true at all. A related misconception that stalls many Windows users from adopting the Linux OS is the belief that when you buy a new computer or install Linux to an existing computer, you must give up one operating system for the other. Again, not true at all.
I have tried about 100 different Linux Distros from a website http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net it has a program that allows one to download and install different linux distros to try them out. Most of them are not wifi ready. The ones that are I tried out. So far I am not impressed at all with Linux. The thing that turns me off is the way software is installed. One has to go through a number of steps just to install software. In Windows and OS X both, all you have to do is download the software from the internet click the download and it AUTOMATICALLY installs. Very simple and easy. With Linux it is very complicated. I will stay with Windows and OS X. Linux is a crappy OS.
I haven't loaded a LINUX distribution on a computer in 10 years. It used to be a job. I'm writing this on a 5 year old Gateway laptop that won't run Win 7 since XP isn't supported any longer. I used 32 bit XUBUNTU for non-pae machines (because the laptop is older it doesn't support the latest technology). It took about an hour with very little input from me. I restored my desktop computer with Win 7 at the same time on the same desk. The LINUX laptop installed faster and with less input from me than the Win 7 machine. I installed both OS's with DVD's. My Gateway now is still usable for what I do, write letters, email, surf the Internet because of LINUX. I am experienced with computers in general but not so much with LINUX. I bet you can install XUBUNTU just as easily as I did in an hour. Now with Win 8 you'll be locked into Micro$oft no matter what. Try it what have you got to lose?
A much better way of sharing files between the two operating systems involves a bit more work, but is much more seamless. Basically, you create three partitions on a hard drive - one for Windows, one for Linux, and one for your files. Format the Windows and files partitions with NTFS and the Linux partition with the file system of your choice (I recommend at least ext3) (alternately, you can install the Windows ext2/3 drivers and format the files partition as an ext-based FS).
Once this is done, it's a matter of remapping the respective /home folders (in Linux, it's "/home"; in Windows, it's "Users"), using the same username on both operating systems, and viola! You now have shared documents between the two operating systems.
I'm intentionally not going into much detail about how the mapping is done, since it varies depending on both the version of Windows and the Linux distribution, but that should work not only for your documents, but also for the configurations of some applications (at least the ones that save config files directly in the user folder rather than in Windows' "AppData" folder).
You can also skip the extra partition and stick with using the Windows partition for the files. I just like keeping documents and the OS separate for my own sanity when re-installing the OS (as I have to do frequently with Windows...).
I created a 10 min YouTube showing how to quickly and easily create a seamless use of Windows Apps on your Linux Desktop.
The entire configuration takes about 15 minutes excluding the time it takes to install the Win7 VM and then install all of the Windows Apps you want to use from Linux.
The How-To utilizes:
1) Linux (I use Ubuntu) and KVM
2) your Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise installed in a KVM Virtual Machine (VM)
3) only ONE configured RemoteApp on the Win7 ... which will let you run/access any other Windows App you installed on that Win7 VM
4) FreeRDP - a linux CLI tool that implements support for Microsoft's RemoteApp and RemoteFX
5) WinConn - a linux GUI front-end to FreeRDP
1) don't have to dual boot to use Windows apps
2) you end up with only your Linux Desktop to live with
3) you will have a Launcher Icon created on your linux desktop that will let you run any of those Windows Apps in their own Linux "window" which you can min/maximize etc)
4) unlike using rdesktop, using RemoteApp you will only see the single Windows App not the entire Windows 7 Desktop
5) you can run windows apps that Wine cannot support
3) sound/printer redirection is supported to/from linux/windows
4) compression - supported tho' not necessary in this configuration
5) you can configure a shared directory tree on your linux system that windows apps can read & write from & to and that your Linux apps also have access to
1) you DO have to keep the Win7 KVM VM running but minimized
2) FreeRDP has not yet implemented ClipBoard Redirection to/from Windows/Linux... but the Developer is working on that.