What stops me finally parting company with Windows

Will I ever be free of Microsoft? Well, unlike many people I’m not really evangelistic about this. I’ll use whatever gets the job done properly. My main reason for ditching Microsoft products is due to their overly restrictive and greedy licensing without really giving real innovation in return.

So why can’t I escape? Well one of the main reasons is that I am constantly faced with Microsoft products through my job as an IT consultant. While I am more likely today than ever before to end up with a mixed environment, MS still owns most of the desktop and much of the server market in my customer base.

That aside, it is mainly for personal reasons that I want to be free at home so why do I still need to run MS dependent software? Here is the list of products I still need Windows for:

  • Memory Map
    This is a great map display and navigation tool for which I have the whole of the UK at 1:50,000 scale. In fact there is no good mapping application for Linux as far as I can tell and certainly not one that will display UK Ordnance Survey maps. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any navigation software for Linux either. Hopefully this will change with the advent of more Linux based mobile phones
  • Google Sketchup
    I don’t often get time to do 3D work these days (not like in my bachelor days when I was using a Commodore Amiga for 3D graphics and video!) but when I do, this is likely to be the tool I turn to.
    In fact, I can’t find any easy to use tool that will do architectural 3D under Linux. Lets hope that Google are listening to the call from Linux fans for a proper Linux version like they’ve done with Google Earth

That’s all I can think of for now.

I might of added MS Office to this list as there is certainly nothing to touch this in Linux land. OpenOffice is fine for simple stuff but for those of us who rely on the power of MS Office day-to-day, you quickly find the limitations of OOo. Thankfully, I don’t generally have the need for complex office documents at home so I’ve not listed it here.