In the past year, I’ve used Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Ubuntu (8.04 and 8.10), and now OS X, on various computers laying around. It’s easy enough to burn an iso and load it up, and if it’s a spare computer, there’s not much to lose/backup/etc. Since I work online, it’s important for me to have each machine setup so that, if needed, I could work from it. Thus, as I’ve been tinkering and experimenting with these various operating systems, I’ve discovered that I’m basically OS-agnostic.
How so? Well, as long as I can load up Firefox and install the Foxmarks plugin, I have access to all of my bookmarks, usernames, and passwords, and they’re synced between the various computers. I can, for instance, wake up and grab my old Gateway MX6956, which is dual-booting Windows 7 and Kubuntu currently, and go through my RSS feeds in Greader, check my Gmail, and bookmark the stories I need to cover today. I can then get out of bed, walk to my office, and fire up my Dell XPS M1330, open Firefox, and open those stories in tabs with just a few clicks. Since Firefox is available for Windows, Linux, and OS X, it works fantastically.
The only ‘gotcha’ is in media. Of course, I can play back my MP3s, movies, etc in any computer, but what about content creation/editing? Currently, Windows is king for that, since I have Photoshop and Ulead Video Studio. Ubuntu’s video editing tools are basically non-existant, so that rules that out pretty quickly. I’ve only just started exploring OS X, and I’m working on getting iLife ’09 to check out. That might be the deciding factor, we’ll see.
In any case, when you think about it, most consumers are the same as me – OS-agnostic, as long as it has a decent web browser. That fact brings up some interesting possibilities. I’ll be reporting back on iLife ’09 later.