1. You have no other choice on a Mac.
2. Have you ever tried to do .... anything on a Linux with out knowing the commands? (Goodness help you if you dont have access to the net at the same time.)
3. Nope, I just wish Apple was better with their policies. Same for Ms, and their bs however.
I would say that yes, Ms should have a free os available, especially since they are planning on stopping support on Xp soon.
The most widely used os ever on the planet.