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All the posix-based OSes are mostly compatible at the application level, so if you're just asking about the user environment maybe your question would be better rephrased "Which environment?", and still would need to define exactly what in an environment do you consider to be windows-like, since that may be a subjective perception.
It is my experiance that Red Hat Linux 9 is a lot more stable than Windows 98. I read that Red Hat Linux (the free version is now called Fedora) is one of the easiest flavors of Linux for beginners to learn.
Red Hat Linux has a very nice GUI. It is highly configurably (much more so than Windows 98). I use the KDE desktop (you can also use Gnome). If you would like to see some screenshots of KDE visit: [kde.org...]
I would recommend you try out a distro of Linux. Who knows, you may be like me and never look back! ;)
A very happy Linux user,
the GUI and user-friendliness
The GUI is going to be easy to use either with Gnome, KDE, or lighter alternatives. the problem is that it will not really be "like windows": it may be better in some aspects :)
If you want to know if some specific feature will be available in Linux, etc. just ask.
It's important to define the difference between OS and user enviroment, because the same OS (Gnu+Linux) may have any of several user environments; and also, if you like e.g. KDE, it is supported on lots of OSes (BSD, OSX, etc...)
For a person coming from the windows world this might be hard to grasp, as there the OS has only one user interface.
With linux, you can set up the interface in all sorts of ways - there are even user interfaces that looks and behaves like traditional windows or macintosh desktops. You don't have to switch OS to another linux version to do that, you just need to switch your user interface.
The OS stays the same, you just change the "shell" - sort of like switching the cover on a cellphone.
Oh, and you can use a text-only interface too (command prompt only) but i wouldn't recommend that here ;)