For those times, when you need to run a windows application (don’t you hate it when that happens?) … there’s seamless RDP.
Essentially, it strips away the need to run a whole RDP desktop (via Rdesktop in Linux). Instead, you can execute an automated login to a windows box via RDP, then the will quickly collapse, running the single-application you actually need to run, with just that window showing up on your Gnome or KDE desktop; similar to what citrix does when stripping applications to have a “seamless” overlay on a desktop. This would be scripted in a shell command . . .
rdesktop -A -s "c:\seamlessrdp\seamlessrdpshell.exe notepad" -u username -p password
(You could also leave the password blank, but then you’d have to type it manually).
Here is also an interesting article in Linux.com explaining how one could strip the whole desktop leaving just the windows start menu to draw on your Linux desktop, rather interesting possibilities when you absolutely must play with Bill’s OS.
One important tip: Make sure the user you’re using to log into the windows box has its RDP default session set to END the session after a disconnect! SeamlessRDP can sometimes end an RDP session abruptly when closing an application, leaving the session open. If the specific user used to login to the RDP session is not set to auto-end the session, you could lock yourself out of a subsequent session.