Originally Posted by jungle
about compatibility. <snip>
wifi access can be a real pain. only a select number of devices are fully supported in linux at this time. many different projects are working very hard to fix those that aren't. Intel cards are very well supported by proprietary drivers from intel (i think).
other than wifi, you shouldn't have many problems getting things up and running well. and some wifi will work out of the box too. glad to have a new linux convert among us.
I will take you too task as to support for 'wifi'. The current state for the newest chipsets then you are correct. But if you look at the base chipsets then 'wifi' on Linux is supported fairly well. If need be you could always use ndiswrapper with current M$ drivers. Just remember that most vendors adapters utilize chipsets that they don't design nor build. If bleeding edge is your desire then, yes you will need to wait for a driver but so will anyone else. Maybe not as long using M$ but then if they get it then we can use ndiswrapper or the like of with a little work.
Most people don't read nor research their equipment. Therefore the problems with some hardware is of course due to drivers. But most times even when the device is supported the user still has problems. Most likely because of the user failure to read documents to see how such device should be used or configured.
M$ and their Plug & Play poisoned the well and we are still drinking from the same old well.
As for your reverse engineering statement, that is true for earlier devices but most manufactures are aware of Linux and do provide drivers for Linux. Yes there are the odd balls but their drivers can be reversed.