This is a non-security post… I did not get a lot of work done Thursday afternoon. I was shopping. Specifically, I am shopping for a new laptop. I have a four year old Fujitsu running XP. The MTBF on this machine is about 20 months, so I am a little beyond laptop shelf life. A friend lent me a nice laptop with Vista for a week, and I must say, I really do not like it. Don’t like the performance. Don’t like the DRM. Don’t like the new arrangement of the UI. Don’t like the lowest-common-denominator approach to design. Don’t like an OS that thinks it knows what I want and shoves the wrong things at me. The entire direction it’s heading seems to be the antithesis of fast, efficient, & friendly. So what to buy? If you do not choose Windows, there really are not a lot of options for business laptops. Do you really have a choice?

I was reading this story that said Intel had no plans to adopt Windows Vista for their employees. Interesting that this comes out now. Technically speaking, the Microsoft “End of Life” date for Windows XP was June 30th. I sympathize with IT departments, as this makes things difficult for them. I am just curious what departments such as Intel’s will be buying employees as their laptops croak? With some 80,000 employees, I am assuming this is a daily occurrence, so I wonder how closely their decision-making process resembles mine. I wonder what they are going to do. Reuse XP keys?

I have used, and continue to use, a lot of OSes. I started my career with CTOS, and I worked on and with UNIX for more than a decade. I have used various flavors of Linux & BSD since 1995. I have had Microsoft’s OSes and Linux dual booting on my home machines for the last decade. I am really not an OS bigot, as there are things about each that I like. For example, I like Ubuntu and the context cube desktop interface, but I am not sure I want that for my primary operating system. I could buy a basic box and install XP with an older key, but worry I might have trouble finding XP drivers and updates.

Being an engineer, I figured I would approach this logically. I sat down and wrote down all the applications, features, and services I use on a weekly basis and mapped out what I needed. Several Linux variants would work, and I could put XP in a virtual partition to catch anything that was not available, but the more I look, the more I like the MacBook. While I have never owned a Mac, I am beginning to think it is time to buy one. And really, the engineer in me got thrown under the bus when I visited the Mac store %!&$! logic, now I just kind of want one.

If I am going through this thought process, I just wonder how many companies are as well. MS has a serious problem.