1. I hate windows but linux is too much of a pain in the ass to maitain. Is skyOS easier to keep up and running?
Yes, much easier to use than Linux. It's as easy as Windows, if not more.
2. will it run surround sound on my soundblaster live?
Not at this time. SkyOS has very limited driver support.
3. will the media player run divx, mpg, and dvd?
Yes, the Media Player does all these things.
4. lastly when will gaim be availble?...this will not make me refrain from trying it out, I am just curious.
I would guess it would come out with SkyOS 5, but only the dev team can really answer this one.