I've started a third blog here, mainly because I liked the look of the hosting service:
- No "bad cookie" alerts, unlike here
- Richer feature set
- Better suited to "normal" web site structure
Normally, each blog has a "theme"; this one is general, the other blog is about Vista, and the new one might be about Linux if I get traction with that.
I've checked out Linux from time to time, and this time I'm prompted to do so by what I see as deteriorating vendor trustworthiness, coupled with tighter vendor dependence; activation false-positives, WGA service failures that triggered (in this case, mild) DoS effects, OEM MS Office 2007 sold as "air boxes" i.e. no installation disks, and poor responsiveness and documentation on these issues.
I'm also checking out Linux as a potential maintenance OS (mOS) for Vista; possibly one that can service all Windows versions plus Linux itself. The newest Ubuntu 7.x claims safe writeable support for NTFS, and until we see RunScanner functionality for Vista, that evens the playing field compared to Bart and WinPE (in other words, none of them can do for Vista what Bart can do for XP).
I expect it will take a year to build satisfactory skills in mOS for Vista, and longer to get a handle on Linux - which means if I want to be positioned to switch to Linux in a few year's time, the time to start studying it is now.
The standards I set for myself as a PC builder require custom-installable disks to ship for all installed software. Failing that, unrestricted and anonymous download is an acceptable alternative only if that is compatible with systems that have either no Internet connectivity, or slow and costly dial-up access.
OEM MS Office 2007 already fails this standard, and I refuse to sell it accordingly. Given the stealth with which Microsoft has manipulated OEM MS Office 2007, I cannot assume similar changes impacting on Vista will occur only when the next version of Windows is released. So starting on a years-long mOS development path may be a waste of time, if such work is applicable to Windows alone.
The first prize would be a Windows that isn't chained to sucky vendor politics, and I will continue to work towards that where possible. If Windows becomes unacceptable, it would be quite a setback in many ways, but that lump may have to be swallowed... let's hope cooler heads kick in an Microsoft, so that we can still stay with the platform we already know and use!