Saturday, December 09, 2006

What's in an operating system?

I haven't had a good debate about operating systems in a long time: on the desktop or the road, you deploy Windows; and in the data center, it's Windows or Linux. Sure, folks have passionate debates about which Linux distro is better, and some take almost religious positions on the Windows vs. Linux battle for the Internet data center. There are a few applications that still require a mainframe or a supercomputer, and I can't wait to find a business case for deploying a Netezza data warehouse appliance. But all in all, that's not a lot of choices to consider.

I hadn't considered the Mac as a viable choice for most applications since sometime in 1994, the last time I used a Mac as my primary computer. As DOS made way for Windows 3.1, and eventually Windows 95, my trusty Mac slipped from the mainstream to an OS that you only found in schools and design shops. Windows NT, 2000, XP, and now Vista added increasing stability, usability, and security. I have to give Microsoft credit: they managed to transform one of the world's worst operating system into something that's almost as usable as a Mac. Almost.

I'm pleased to say that after a 13 year absence, I'm back to a Mac! I haven't had this much fun with a computer in a long time. More about why, later...