Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quezal
While I have been aware of the existence of Wine for years, and used it in some very limited cases, I hadn't really considered it as option for dumping my Wintendo. I was inspired, however, by a post on PC World, to give it a go.
One of the few pieces of software that motivates my maintenance of a Windows machine is Mozart, a piece of music writing software that both my wife and I use. As it turned out, installing and running it under Wine was disturbingly easy! I installed Wine from the repository, used Winetrix to install the recommended packages, installed TiMidity to process Mozart's midi output, then stuck the Mozart CD in the drive and double-clicked on the installer. It installed just as it would under Windows XP, ran first time, and played sound without a problem. Whole thing took about ten minutes (including reading the instructions).
If I can get Empire: Total War to run, then the Windows drive might well get formatted.