Windows or Linux?

White flowers blooming in our back yard.

Every time I set up a new laptop for myself or an employee, I go through a brief “Windows or Linux?” tradeoff analysis. It’s never an easy choice.

All of our development work is platform-independent, using broadly available open-source tools like java, node, postgresql, QGIS. Everything that’s deployed to a server is Linux (usually Ubunutu).

On the other hand, the US business world runs almost exclusively on Microsoft. For compatibility sake, Windows is my daily driver so that I can create and read documents in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Most of the business and technical people I interact with in other companies use those tools, and over the years I have found it’s easiest if I use those tools also (vs trying to translate docs).

Until last week, the “Windows or Linux?” decision has always landed on the side of Windows. However, this summer’s intern is getting Linux Mint. This business with Copilot/Recall has tipped the scales for me. I’m so tired of having large technology companies hoover up our business information and code via dark patterns and resignation. We are mostly off Google tools now. Our code is moving from Github to self-hosted Gogs this summer. The next employee laptop will be Mint, also. And the next time my own laptop is refreshed, I will probably end up there as well. This year feels like a turning point for Microsoft-as-default, at least for me.