IW: Time to Dump Windows?

InfoWorldis Galen Gruman asked the questions on Sunday: Can it be done? Is this the right time? He explored what it would take to make the switch to Mac OS X or Linux.

For those who donit savor the switch from XP to Vista, many InfoWorld readers are talking about switching to Mac OS X or Linux instead.

"Windows Vista was the reason I bought a Mac mini. I didnit want my only choices to be an operating system that would soon be obsolete (XP) or one that was buggy and would break much existing hardware (Vista), and Iim not enough of a geek to use Linux (do things from the command line? Puhleeze...)," wrote [a reader named] "Jack."

Noting that it isnit quite so easy in a business environment, the author started a discussion about just what it would take to switch away from Windows.

"Of the plausible alternatives to Windows, Appleis Mac OS X has the largest market share and history. InfoWorld chief technologist Tom Yager has written that the latest version of the Mac OS, Leopard (10.5), is simply the best operating system available," Mr Gruman noted. "And Macs are indeed popping up more frequently even within IT circles -- Iive seen more MacBook Pros in the hands of CTOs and IT execs at conferences in the past year more than Iive seen Mac notebooks in such venues ever. Although there are no real numbers on just the business adoption of Macs, itis clear that Apple is in growth mode, gaining an increasing proportion of all new computer sales for more than a year now."

Stories about and resources for switchers were cited. One of the key tools is virtualization.

Switching to Linux from Windows requires a considerable technical and UNIX background. Itis not for everyone. Some of the IW authors insist that Linux will forever remain a niche OS, and one who tried the migration in an experiment gave up in five days. For others who have the background, however, it can be done.

One thing that smart businesses do know, however, is that a mix of OSes will serve them better and is more realistic.