When I got my first computer back in 1996, it was an IBM PC with Windows 95 on. Since then I got into web developing and I’m living a fairly computer-intense life (at least in the daytime), and I’ve realized more and more that I’m phasing out one Microsoft product after another from the software I’m using.
As mentioned above, my first computer had Windows 95, and the following Windows 98. Not so stable operating systems, but I have to say that Microsoft stepped up with Windows 2000 (based on NT, which I never had). It was then followed by XP, which has been around forever, and now Vista is out (my take on Vista). Since about a year ago, my home computer is a MacBook Pro and I have to say that overall it is definitely superior to Windows.
Without a doubt, my next work computer will be a Mac, and I’m sincerely glad that I took the plunge.
Back in about 1998, you could choose between Netscape 4 and IE 4 as your web browser, and we all know in what poor state Netscape 4 was… So, I was an IE user for a number of years, but soon realized the greatness of the products Mozilla were creating. I’ve been using Firefox since my number one web browser all the way back to the day when it was named Phoenix, and to me it is without competition.
As you understand, at home the only software I use is for Mac OS X, but since I’m stuck with a PC for the moment at work (running Windows XP), my choice of software has to be PC compliant. But to start with, I shy away from Office as the plague as much as I can (talk about bloated, unneeded features), except for the dependency on Outlook when in the Office, or the Web Outlook Access when at a customer’s.
To my disappointment, .NET seems to have a stronghold in Sweden, and I’ve been working with it since 2001, so I do have a proper knowledge of it. Luckily, though, I’ve been blessed with working in projects based on other technologies (oh, the joy of Ruby on Rails and PHP projects; giving full control to the web developer, imagine that! :-)). And as long as I can affect what I work with, there won’t be any work done by me on projects in crappy Content Management Systems based on Microsoft ideas anytime soon.
IE is only used for testing (which almost exclusively is hell, because it never stops to surprise me with it bugs and extremely shaky behavior). A little sidenote here, but to all customers, project managers etc: if IE were to be discontinued, I can promise you that the interface for web sites would be developed in half the time and be twice as good with all the possibilities we would have.
And that’s about the Microsoft software I have to confront at the time. I long to the day when I can launch TextEdit or a similar program for text purposes and TextMate for developing, so I can get rid of Office overall and .NET for web sites. Then all I’m stuck with is Microsoft’s crappy web browsers (which, unfortunately, probably won’t be gone for quite some time).
Soon, I’ll be free
Conclusively; in my spare time or for personal computer usage I don’t use any Microsoft software any more. At work, I still have some obstacles to get over, but I’m getting there, step by step. My prediction is that within a year, the only Microsoft product I will have to care about is IE, and the rest is gone, Gone, GONE! Let the liberation begin!
What do you use, and are you happy with it?