I think your brother in law may have misunderstood.
The Linux based
recovery cd is the one you use for Vista/ 7 /XP.
The free version also allows you to create a Bartpe disc ( for XP users if they prefer
The Acronis boot disc will also be linux based, of course - and the Paragon boot cd is Linux/Dos.
What may have confused him is that ( uniquely ) the Paid version of Macrium also
provides a PE2 bootdisc - Vista users can use that if they prefer