Monday, January 8, 2007

Switching to Linux: Walking away from MicrosatinSoft

For nearly 20 years now, I've been using Microsoft software. I've probably even been using it longer, but without my knowledge. Every time I've needed to upgrade to a new version, i.e. Windoze 95 to Windoze 98, I've been completely disgusted at the >$100 price tag. I've always thought it was ridiculous to charge that much for software. At the time I didn't realize what all goes into the development & service of software, especially an O.S.
Now that I'm older & wiser, I'm starting to see the light. There's much more to it than price alone. There's all the things that people are unwittingly forced to deal with because of Microsoft's dominance. A fantastic example is the use of Internet Explorer as apposed to Firefox, but that's for another conversation.
Side note: I must admit, I have a natural inclination to root for the underdog. It really doesn't seem to matter what the context is. If there's a big guy beating up on a little guy (software included), I always boo the big guy. I also know that this does play a role in my decision to explore Linux, but I also realize the potential. It's kind of like learning another spoken language. It's not necessarily useful on a day-to-day basis, but could get you hired someday, or could be used on vacation, etc. has a bunch of classes for learning Linux. I think they state it well:

We have developed this course for one basic reason: To bring the newcomer to Linux to the point where you can, using Linux, do everything that you do with MS Windows and much more. Due to the fact that Microsoft, enjoying an illegal monopoly, has its operating system installed on 90% of the world's computers, this course is mainly aimed at people who want to migrate to Linux from Microsoft products.

I guess that I have determined one of my New Year's resolutions. "To become proficient in Linux." I think if I'm going to be able to make a career change in the next few years, this knowledge will definitely play a role.

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