I have gone for a month without using Microsoft. I am thinking about starting a group known as Microsoft Anonymous. Who could join? Anyone who after a life of suffering serious crashes, horrible program installation delays and hours lost simply turning a computer on and off, have left Microsoft for Linux or Mac. This group would focus on all we have in common. I imagine sessions started with testimonials such as. “Since I stopped using Microsoft I make it home for dinner and my relationship with my wife has improved”, or “now that my computer does not crash my girlfriend tells me that I am a happier person”, another one could be ” now that I can install programs so quickly I have also learned to make and keep friends”. Here´s a proposal for the first MA meeting: “Is using Parallels positive for your life without Microsoft?”

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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abdel on April 2, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,

I have converted to MAC and it is the best thing
i have done. By the way we spoke about it at the
time when i worked with you on Einsteinet.

Let´s go for it.

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freechelmi on April 2, 2007  · 

Using Parallels means using Microsoft because you still need a licence. But it’s true you can use something else as your primary OS.

Still hard to live without a MS licence. I do for few years but I do not use ” professionnal products ” ..

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surftradon on April 2, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,
So did I a year ago. I am in for the microsoft anonymous group. Maybe this could send a signal to web site developers too. Actually, since I switched to mac os x and Ubuntu on my powerbook, I put more attention on the cleanliness, fonctionality and cross-browser compatibility of any web site.

Maybe off topic, but why FON is invisible in Montreal? Is it because unlimited offers are very expensive from the big ISPs here?

..I want affordable broadband in Montréal …à la Neuf.fr or ya.com

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dema on April 2, 2007  · 

Hi Martin
Use the dark side of the force !
Anyway , the ideal is to use the most suitable OS for what you need.
My scene :
windows @ office , with nothing more than ERP , web and mail , linux @ home , macosX on the move.

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David Marcus on April 2, 2007  · 

Martin: definitely happy to join such a group! Was a big Mac fan in the eighties and went back last year. No one will ever see me using a Windows machine again. I use parallels but rarely launch it as I found all the software I needed on Mac. We still have an MS Exchange server so I need to stick with Entourage for now but wait until Google launches a proper offline solution for Google Apps and we’ll say goodbye to our Exchange server and Office altogether.

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Prolific Programmer on April 2, 2007  · 

I switched away from Windows in 1999 and haven’t had any need to go back. Let’s celebrate!

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infinitaus on April 2, 2007  · 

I currently use Mac with Windows installed using Boot Camp. Wouldn’t really recommend Parallels cause it’s rather slow though it can run both platform simultaneously. You certainly have to agree that Mac and Linux are leading the way with the advanced user interface and the fast development respectively.

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Lukketto on April 2, 2007  · 

I switched to Linux 3 years ago.
Could be interesting to know how old are the switchers!

See ya!

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Alex on April 3, 2007  · 

I use both Mac and Windows and sometimes linux(ubuntu), however I agree with one of the commenter. There is a technology for every occasion. I don’t think Mac is suitable for an office/Large data center environment, not because it doesn’t work, but because it makes a lot more sense to use windows in that environment. I am a happy Windows Admin and user, that also uses Mac.

Saludos, me gusta mucho to blog.

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gilles amsallem on April 3, 2007  · 

I almost became mad with my XP …
last month I bought a new laptop , the retailer told me “now with vista it will never be like in the past” !!!!
I heard the same song after W 98 and W2000 and now with XP …
I thought now something must change in my life ..
I joined Windows anonymous , stopped eating junk food , stopped smoking … started yoga every morning , drink 3 litres of water every day , became vegetarian .. And bought a Mac G5.. I love apples

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Valentin on April 3, 2007  · 

Hm. I switched last year but have to say the mac is sometimes annoying too. I started with one of the first macbooks here in germany and went to the mac support 3 times in the first 3 month. But yes: I am still happy without Windows around me and it appears like another century to help friends troubleshooting their MS poweredes machines…

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Anonimo on April 3, 2007  · 

Tu comentario se parece a un episodio de Sex and the City!

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Martin Varsavsky on April 3, 2007  · 


Fon does not plan where it goes, it is a random movement that people decide to join, we only started a year ago and we are spreading globally, help us spread the word in Montreal pls!

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Da Scritch on April 4, 2007  · 

Hi Martin.

I switched from microsoft in 1997. But recently, when i changed job, i was back in microsoft. It was long long long long before i can going out and return to linux. Every day, i have temptations, but other microsoftolics are now envying me because I have more spare time.

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Perlejade on April 5, 2007  · 

I used Microsoft software for years. I wasn’t good-looking nor happy, my family didn’t like me, I didn’t have a (boy|girl)friend and my computed crashed all the time. Now I use only free software on my Linux box. I’m wolf-ugly, I cry all the time, my family hates me and my boyfriend has dumped me, but my computer’s bulletproof. Don’t use anything Microsoft has touched (unless you want to get laid)!

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Sp on April 5, 2007  · 


I like Linux and respect Mac, but still a MS user. May be as a reminiscence of our friendly dicussions with our friends back in the 80’s (when we where in our 20’s).

I’m trying to install Linux or buy a Mac for my home computer and use my Laptop with MS Windows for work. Now that I used the keyboard friendly MS Office 2007 and an Excel with 1 million row, wish I use frequently for analyzing a business data; I still feel truly comfortable with MS right now. But still aiming to make a switch some time.

But, and this is the main point of this comment, I would change for “principle” reasons and/or because I like the Open Software idea; but not because it is easy to add software, or for less viruses or computer crashes or computer speed or nice programs.

I like computers and I’m connected to Internet almost permanently. I use computer for work every day and at home for leisure. I use a not so new 2004 Compaq, If I had a computer crash, it maybe once every two or tree months; from which I recover in 60 seconds and don’t consider it a annoyance at all. I like to try and install programs almost as a hobby. I install maybe more than five each month (most uninstalled as some were only to try them); all were easy and fast to install. I don’t mind if a program needs 3 minutes to install on Windows and just 1 in Mac. Two minutes wont be the determining factor to change.

My cousin is a Mac fan and for every Mac program that he “show me off”, I had an equivalent one in my Windows Laptop. Which one was better. I think both, it was only (and truly a matter of taste) as both programs shared similar features, doesn’t matter if they were for pictures sharing, music, spreadsheets, mail, internet, …

It is something as his iPod and my Zune. I honestly think that we sincerely enjoy ours own equally. Both take them in the car or to the parties with friends and enjoy music or show our holiday’s pictures and each one of us is happy with the brand we bought.

Coming form a community that likes to decide and choose, I think it is important to lay the true reasons for a choice of software we use. It is similar with other products, as MP3 players or even cars. In a family the prefer Ford and in other, GM. They have similar priced family cars. Let’s recognize it, both cars have similar features and no one is obviously superior: IT IS A MATTER OF PERSONAL TASTE, I think IMHO. The same I think is with OS brands.



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Antoin O Lachtnain on April 8, 2007  · 

The mac is a good product and in many ways good value. However for people who aren’t well-off, it’s just not an option. The prices are too high and the support isn’t available. Apple have no short term interest in changing this. It’s targeted at the wealthy.

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vesselin kavalov on April 13, 2007  · 

Per SP’s post (#16):
Brilliant parallel to the US cars. Thank goodness there is Honda and Toyota so we can actually drive something of great price, great performance and good looks. I wish one of them gets in the PC OS business so we can stop worrying about the vehicle and get our job done!
P.S. Got Honda Civic ’91 HB pretty shabby looking after all these years and 220,000 miles. Probably spent less than $2000 altogether on maintenance and repair all these years and it still does 36 miles/gal 80% hi-way drive. Which American (or European for that matter should I switch it for 🙂

Give me HondaOS 🙂

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Perlejade on April 14, 2007  · 

Sp: I almost agree with you, however:
Of course it’s a matter of personal taste (which is why we have a dozen of Unices, some of which are divided into hundreds of distros). However, I don’t believe 90 % of PC users (I don’t know about Mac users or other devices, and even this figure is a wild guess) actually prefers Windows to [insert OS here]. Microsoft is force-feeding their software. If _your_ computer had been sold with another OS, would you really have bothered to buy and install Windows? It should be a matter of personal taste, but laziness is also involved. I’ve met hundreds of Linux users, most of who where Linux fans; I’ve met thousands of Windows users and only one Windows fan so far.

“not because it is easy to add software”: Have you really tried a package management system? I think it’s the best idea since chocolate. In one (maybe two) short lines (or two or three mouseclicks if you want a GUI), you can download and install almost any program. You don’t have to bother finding where to download it or whatever. Of course sometimes there isn’t any package for your distro and you have to hunt it yourself. If you’re lucky, you’ll get your hands on a reday-to-run binary – no installation at all! The worst case: having to compile it from source. Ok, it’s ‘./configure ; make ; make install’. Not really more annoying than the normal installation process in Windows.

“not computer speed”? Well, it’s your choice; but KDE with a bunch of bells and whistles runs at (almost) top speed of my box. CPU: 500 MHz, RAM: 256 MB. (I admit I use Knoppix, which is known to run faster than most other distros.) My download speed is supposed to be 1 MB/s; on Windows, it’s 800 kB/s at best (hardly ever reached); on Linux, my average download speed is more like 1400kB/s. But if you have enough money to upgrade your hardware instead of choosing a system because of its speed (which is certainly not the best reason), great for you.

It’s mostly a matter of personal taste, but we FOSS fans would really love it if Microsoft would just let everyone choose instead of trying to prevent everyone from learning the very existence of other options.

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