“Have we reached the beginning of the tipping point? I think we may just have.” Since the late 90s I’ve dabbled with Linux, but there have always been compelling reasons to return to, or stick with, Windows. No more, for two reasons: Vista, and Ubuntu 7.10 (ala Gutsy Gibbon).

“Through all this time I have looked forward to each new version of Windows either because I expected it to be more stable, add better hardware support, or correct problems in some other way.”

And now onto Ubuntu.

I’ve been through dozens of Linux distros over the years and while I have wanted to like them, I’ve always found myself a little disappointed in some respect or other. No more.

Ubuntu has the slickest installation I have yet found in any OS.

Ubuntu makes it supremely easy to install extra software packages.

Ubuntu has a wonderfully useful and responsive 3D desktop, in the shape of Compiz Fusion. Ubuntu is fast, and is like a fresh breeze blowing through after my weeks of gazing at Vista, waiting for something to happen.

Ubuntu generally works just fine on my Santa Rosa laptop. I had to spend some time figuring out how to get Compiz Fusion working, but even that is relatively easy.

The other reason that Ubuntu does it for me is that over the past 12 months I’ve found myself increasingly using non-Microsoft products. Google Docs is usually open in a browser Window, OpenOffice.org has been on my home and work machines for some time now, and while I still use Outlook, I find Evolution quite useable. Even for those applications I use that are not available on Linux – such as Mindjet’s mind-mapping software – I find there are often quite suitable alternatives with some degree of file compatibility.

Of course this is just my experience, and this is just Ubuntu. Yet I have had a look at SuSE 10.3 which seems to be equally able, and this is not to even mention Apple’s Leopard OS which is due later this week and which can be relied upon to deliver a ‘wow’ factor that people have simply failed to see in Vista.

Have we reached the beginning of the tipping point? I think we may just have.

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