Which Operating System is Best? Well, Depends…

Which Operating System is Best? Well, Depends...This series of posts started with the hope that I could provide a few simple tools to people to use in the everyday battle of making decisions. Decisions can range from simple ones like which socks to wear to whether to buy a house (or get married as someone did recently — congratulations to Diana and Chris!).

Many decisions are compounded by seemingly unrelated events. Today let us consider various operating systems. Selecting one is truly a more complex decision than simply buying a computer with the latest Windows version pre-installed — if you want the best, whatever that is.

A club I belong to has a monthly Q&A session where the conversation can range from esoteric to trivial. One member asked what seems like a simple question. He has an XP machine that apparently did not pass the Windows 7 compatibility test for some reason. He asked if he should scrap it and get a new one, or try to update his reliable, but aging beauty.

While I prepared to suggest he scrub the hard drive and install Linux, one of the other members suggested that he wait for Windows 8 to be released. The point of this suggestion was that Microsoft dearly wants to get its large enterprise customers to migrate upward from XP. Windows 7 (and Vista before it) has hurdles to the conversion that businesses have taken into account. Many decided staying with XP is more profitable (applied decision theory at work!) than upgrading. For that reason, he argued, Windows 8 will not be as restrictive in the demands it makes on the hardware, and maybe the older machine could be updated by skipping a couple of generations — wait and see.

Several people, including me, pointed out the difficulty of continuing to update XP in the present environment. Microsoft has stopping supporting it, and one must be careful of third party providers because you might get something extra — and undesired — with your update as I did recently when re-installing XP on a client’s computer.

So here is the conundrum: live with XP until life becomes unbearable; live with it until Windows 8 is released and see if it can be installed on the obsolete system; scrap or donate the old machine and buy a new one. A variation of the last option would be to buy a new computer with Windows on it and install Linux on the old one as a learning experience. Substituting Linux for Windows can work wonders, but there is no free lunch. He would have to invest some time to get the benefits. Is that best for him?

If you think about these options for a bit you will realize that we do not have enough information to make a decision. The various suggestions are all good and maybe even best under some conditions, but we need to know more. For instance, what is the member’s budget? If buying a new computer is trivial, that biases the decision one way. How computer literate is he? If he is totally uncomfortable with learning a new operating system (and I know people who thought the change from Vista to Windows 7 was too difficult!), then sticking with the old machine is favored at least for the time being.

For me, it would be a no-brainer. I have other computers around the house and office with several operating systems on them. I have no more difficulty going from one to another than a musician has changing instruments. So I would either install Linux and donate it or keep it as is and donate it. But it is unfair for me to expect an average person off the street to have the same background and familiarity with systems that I do (and I do not claim to be an expert — I am a self-taught guy who enjoys tinkering). The best solution for him is probably something else.

Note that none of the discussion so far considers which operating system is “best.” That is because, in this case, “best” is not a well-defined concept. I cannot say which alternative is best for the person asking the question. The most I can do is to lay out the rational alternatives and the various tradeoffs. Then a rational person could combine that input with his own preferences, budget, and other parameters to reach a better decision than I could impose on him — if he is willing to make the effort.

But, of course, that is not how it works. Most often a client will come to me and ask which computer is “best” to avoid making that mental effort of deciding. The client does not mean what is best for him or her, but just best, which assumes there is a best that is true for everyone. Now I have no interest in offending clients, so how should I respond? In general, I punt by asking more questions back. “What do you use your computer for? How much do you want to spend? Do you need the mobility of a laptop? Are you willing to invest some time becoming more computer literate?”

Sometimes they listen and think. Other times they interrupt and ask, “But which brand is best?” About that time, I throw up my hands and tell them to buy whatever is on sale and looks pretty. It does not really matter much which one because any will last long enough to become obsolete.

If you wonder why none of the answers to the question of what to buy was “Get an iPad,” look at this short video. You do not need to speak German to get the idea. The kids gave Dad an iPad. He likes it.

CC licensed Flickr photo of Commodore 64 screen shared by Phillie Casablanca.

Does Apple’s iOS Set the Standard for Future Operating Systems?

Does Apple's iOS Set the Standard for Future Operating Systems?For the past few decades, the discussion of whether a PC or Mac is a better computer has dominated the geekosphere. The argument was always met with rather outrageous allegations from the Windows and OS X fanboys, with little regard for facts. Times have changed and now we are entering into a new era in which alternative operating systems are beginning to spring up all over. Apple started the craze when it introduced its highly popular iOS, which supports many of its electronic devices. iOS has shown to be a capable OS, using applications to add value to the Apple devices iOS supports.

Google has been working on its own OS for the past several years. In developing the Android OS, Google has demonstrated that it can effectively compete in the smart phone market and tablet marketplace. In addition, Google has its Chrome OS, which is, in essence, a browser that supports cloud computing. On June 15th, Google will launch its new OS on Samsung and Acer notebooks.

HP is in the process of introducing its webOS, which the company states it may also license to others. The original plan from HP had included a dual boot system along with Windows. It is unknown if HP will just go full blast using its webOS on just tablets, or if it may also use it as a standalone on desktop and laptop systems.

The one company that is missing anything new is Microsoft. Though the company has recently announced all of the wonderful improvements that Windows 8 will introduce, it is hard to believe that the company will be able to catch up to Apple, Google, or HP in the tablet and smart phone market place.

The benefit of having Apple, Google, HP, and Microsoft compete against each other is that we consumers will benefit. Our options will not be limited by Windows and we will be able to select other operating systems that appear to be very capable in meeting most of our needs.

I never thought I would say this, but the Apple iOS beats anything currently out there. Its fluid function and ease of use is amazing. Apple has set the bar high and everyone else who provides an alternative OS, including Microsoft, will need to meet this standard.

Comments welcome.

Could A Google Subscription Service For The Chrome Notebook Computer Work?

Microsoft has discussed a subscription service for its Windows operating system and Office system for years. I recall many discussions about how one day subscriptions to all software products would become standard and that distribution by CD and DVD would evaporate. But it seemed that the idea of subscription software went the same way as the paperless office went and never matured. There is now a rumor that Google may try such a service when it releases its Chrome operating system on notebooks some time in June or July of this year.

Though the exact plans are sketchy, the service would work by having the consumer purchase the notebook from a vendor. The notebook would have the Chrome operating system pre-installed. The user would then have the option to purchase a subscription costing between $10 to $20 a month. The service will provide hardware updates and may also include the replacement of faulty hardware during the subscription period.

What the Chrome OS could do is to redefine what the original notebook or netbook computers could not do. The original concept was that these lightweight computers were originally meant to be cheap devices connecting to the Internet only to access the cloud. What happened was that some companies tried to shoehorn Microsoft Windows onto the notebook and netbooks, and the hardware could not handle the heavy load of Windows. The Chrome OS is basically a browser that connects to the Web, starts fast, and boots in under 10 seconds. While this is a very attractive device, some question whether or not this is enough to unseat the Apple iPad or iPad 2 from their perches.

I have been beta testing the Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook computer since mid-December when I was fortunate enough to have received the device. During this time, I have had the opportunity to test and play with the system. I find some of the features very attractive for what I do on the Internet, e.g., blog for two sites, check email, surf for interesting articles, stay in touch with Facebook family and friends, and in general use the device for work more than to have fun with. The Chrome OS notebook has few options for game playing when compared to other devices.

The difference I see between the Google Chrome OS notebook computer compared to the Apple iPad is very simple: the Google Chrome OS notebook computer is a work machine whereas the Apple iPad is more for fun. IMO. Your opinion may differ from mine. But my opinion is the correct opinion. LOL

What do you think? Would you pay for a subscription plan for the Google Chrome OS notebook computer?

Source – Neowin

Build Your Own Web Server The Easy Way Using Ubuntu-Server 11.04

Have you ever given any thought to building your own Web server? I have and when I read the simple to follow instruction which are linked below using Ubuntu-Server 11.04, I was amazed just how easy it actually was. Though I have read that Ubuntu-Server will work on older computers, I did not have an old system available, so I decided to use my gaming machine.

Hardware: AMD 64 bit 3.0 dual-core, Asus mobo, 4GB RAM, Nvidia 9600, built-in network adapter. I removed the SATA hard disk and found an older Seagate 120GB hard disk I had in the garage and even found a ribbon cable. Yes, the Asus mobo has an IDE ribbon connection. LOL

I downloaded the AMD 64 bit edition of Ubuntu-Server 11.04 and burned the .iso file to CD. This may seem unimportant but the directions specifically stated to burn the image to a CD that is 80 minutes/700MB in size. The image will not burn to DVD, according to the author.

You also need to have the computer hooked up to the Internet via a network connection cable [hard-wired], since Ubuntu-Server may not play well with your wireless connection.

I next followed the author’s directions, gave the server a name, selected the OS to use the entire hard disk, did not select encryption [I have nothing worth hiding], and set up a username and password. The hard disk was formatted and the software installed. Now here is where you may experience problems. There is not a pretty GUI for Ubuntu-Server 11.04. Hey, what do you want for free? Don’t worry boys and girls, the author has you covered.

The author provides you with some basic Linux commands, shows you how to obtain updates for the system, and includes how to test your Web server to confirm that it is working properly. In addition, the author walks you through the steps of adding additional useful software to your new server so that you can host the most popular software like MySQL and Apache. As you can guess, I am a newbie at this so I hope I have the terms correct.

If you are a relative newbie like myself to Linux, the author also provides a free .pdf document that will assist you further in getting your server running correctly. This is a 350-page document and is a complete guide to assist you.

Comments welcome.

PS If there is anything I have written that needs correction from you Linux experts, please comment and I will correct the entry. Thanks in advance.

Source – How to build your own Webserver with Ubuntu Server 11.04 (“Natty”) by Robert Schifreen

Source – Direct Download To Ubuntu-Server 11.04

Source – .pdf format 350 page guide

Mark Minasi Asks Questions About Cloud

At another Connections conference show, Richard talks to the one-and-only Mark Minasi about his keynote at the conference in this RunAs Radio podcast. Mark aims his sights at cloud computing, asking the important questions about pricing, reliability and implementation challenges.

When Mark Minasi attended his first lecture about computers in 1973, he learned two things. First, computers are neat. Second, many technical people are very nice folks… but they can put you to sleep in an instant while explaining technical things. Mark transformed those two insights into a career making computers easier and more fun to understand. He’s done that by writing over a thousand popular computer columns, several dozen best-selling technical books, and explaining operating systems and networking to crowds from two to two thousand.

Awarded “Favorite Technical Author” by CertCities four times out of four, Mark is probably best known for his Mastering Windows Server and Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance books, both of which have seen more than 12 editions and sold over a million copies. An audience member at a recent talk remarked that he believed that Mark could “do a talk on watching paint dry that would be so good that people would be motivated to go home and paint a wall just to experience the joy of watching paint dry.” While this has led to many very tempting offers from Sherwin-Williams, he’s decided to stay with his first and best love… technology.

Is Getting a New Computer Always a Good Thing?

Have you changed computers lately? I have had the misfortune to have scored on both a new laptop and two new computers in exchange for some work. Why is that a misfortune? Getting a replacement laptop for the one I gave to my wife when her desktop crashed should be a positive. And getting a newer, faster desktop is always a joy — isn’t it?

Well, in the bad old days it used to take me about two days of frustration to setup a new computer the way I wanted it, but with the new operating systems and easy move applications, it only takes me about two days of frustration to setup a new computer. Of course the latest generation does much more than the older ones, so in some sense setting up a new computer has become more convenient. That is, for the same amount of frustration, I get more done. Surely getting my LAN to do the things I want is much easier now, but at this writing, one of my network printers is still not recognized by everyone. If no one recognized it, that would be understandable, but when I try to bring up two new computers with the same operating systems and do the same things to them, they should behave similarly. Or am I being dense?

But here is an underlying source of frustration: how much computing power do I need? The reason that netbooks took off and sold so well is that many people realized they were mostly writing letters, checking email, surfing, and maybe checking the latest on Facebook. You do not need very many processors for that type of load. Even if you keep your books and have fairly large spreadsheets, an entry level desktop will likely handle anything you throw at it.

Watching HD DVDs is no problem, but perhaps playing the latest action games would bring any of my computers to their knees. I have one home-built PC with dual-core and 8 gig of RAM which I like to use for video editing. Speech recognition is another application that can slow down a weaker machine.

Put this recent frustration in the context of tutoring seniors who spend most of their time at their PCs being frustrated. Part of my job is to empower them so they can do what they want and not be frustrated. But sometimes I fear that my main accomplishment is to help them to become frustrated at a higher level.

Now I have to try to sell one of the extra computers. It is nice, and not frustrating — would you like it?

Windows XP Bug May Compromise Your PC Using Free Public Wi-Fi

Who doesn’t love the word ‘free’. So when we see the term ‘free public wi-fi’ at the airport, coffee shop or where-ever, who can resist the temptation to connect. But if you are using an older copy of Windows XP, that hasn’t been updated to SP3, you should be aware of this bug that may open your computer for the public to scrutinize. Microsoft is aware of the problem and fixed the problem for those using Windows XP with SP3. But some folks have not updated to the latest service pack.

Here is how the bug works:

When a computer running an older version of XP can’t find any of its “favorite” wireless networks, it will automatically create an ad hoc network with the same name as the last one it connected to -– in this case, “Free Public WiFi.” Other computers within range of that new ad hoc network can see it, luring other users to connect. And who can resist the word “free?”

Not a lot of people, judging from the spread of Free Public WiFi. Computers with the XP bug that try to connect to the Internet will remember the name, create their own ad hoc networks and entice other users wherever they go.

It’s not the only zombie network out there, either. Others you may have seen go by such alluring names as “linksys,” “hpsetup,” “tmobile” or “default.”

Unintentionally creating or connecting to the ad hoc network isn’t inherently harmful, despite its virus-like spread. It does, however, provide an access point for hackers to come in and check out the user’s files.

To me it sounds as simple as upgrading to SP3 if you are using Windows XP. Or is it that simple? The unfortunate thing is that many people who have tried the upgrade to SP3 have experienced problems with their computers. Problems exhibited are a slow down of the computer, unable to gain Internet access and other issues. So for those who haven’t upgraded or who can’t upgraded, take heed. You may wish to steer clear from public wi-fi hot spots.

Comments welcome.

Source – npr

Windows Defenses Rendered Useless – Again

Boy, it sure seems like being number one OS in the world leaves you feeling a bit like number… well, you get the idea. Clearly Microsoft has its hands full as it works to stop this latest issue against the security of its OS. The big issue is like anything that acts as a portal to the outside world — a browser, email client, even an RSS feed — there is not going to be a magic bullet to stop these types of attacks. What Microsoft can do, however, is to stop blowing smoke at its users with statements about how secure its OS is. Clearly, this has been anything but the case. Yes, not everything in the world can be blocked security wise, but pretending that Windows 7 is made of steel is clearly not going well.

I’ve said it once; I will say it again. Anything with writable, executable actions in the technologist world is exploitable. Windows, Linux, OS X, hardware, firmware — none are 100% secure. Pretending otherwise is how we end up in total shock and awe when someone manages to do what the “experts” said was not possible previously.

As for Web browsers, all of them put the user at risk on one level or another. This is where that little thing I like to call common sense comes into play. If a user does not understand that picture.exe being clicked on is a threat, they should stop and seek schooling. As for ActiveX, Java, and JavaScript exploits, these require a bit more thought. First step: turn off the first two. As for JavaScript, allow it only on sites that you KNOW. Obviously this is too heavy handed for Lockergnome readers, but for Johnny KnowsLittle (about computers), it may be the best bet.

It’s truly unfortunate that we have to be so paranoid these days with our computers, but for the love of Pete, stop putting blind, idiot trust into various security suites. They provide malware resistance, not with a shield that cannot be overcome. Depending on Microsoft or third party functionality will ALWAYS lead to headaches. Why? Because it is us that need to be extremely careful out there. So long as a product can execute code and is hosted locally with outward access to the Internet, you are at risk. Period.

[awsbullet:Brendan Behan]

A Lack Of PC Security Can Destroy Lives

As I read this article today, I found myself shaking my head as this could quite frankly happen to anyone that does not fully comprehend just how dangerous an unprotected computer can be. While it is an undeniable fact that stories like the above linked are taking place with Windows users and social networking Web sites, there is a growing possibility of various malware threats hitting other platforms. While very rare, malware is able to hit anyone these days. So it pays to be aware of this.

Speaking for myself, short of having immediate access to a cross platform trunk monkey to come out of their trunk to save the day from the evils of the Internet, I think that we as end users have become entirely too reliant on security software.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/1rFvR7Bv9Fk" width="350" height="288" wmode="transparent" /]

The above story could happen yet again, but this time to someone who was using software that was unable to protect them from an alternative version of the same threat. For my household, we work very hard to keep our computers as secure as possible; not with lots of security software — rather, vigilant browsing bundled with lesser targeted platforms. While it may not be fair, right, kind, or decent, the fact of the matter is Windows maintains market share in the desktop OS world.

Quote from the article linked above:

“The prosecution’s forensics expert, Randy Huff, maintains that Solon’s antivirus software was working properly. And he says he ran other antivirus programs on the computer and didn’t find an infection — although security experts say antivirus scans frequently miss things.”

This means that it is the number one target for attacks like the one from the article linked above. So if you are going to use Windows as your chosen platform, you had better be extra careful. Then again, it is fast becoming true that non-Windows users need to become vigilant now before the threats begin appearing. At least this way, when things hit the fan, everyone will be playing on a safer field of battle.

[awsbullet:malware security windows]

Woopid

As time goes on, more and more people are becoming comfortable with using computers and the Internet. The advances in technology have certainly helped adoption to increase, but the passing of time has also had an impact because it’s more essential now than ever before to be able to be confident with using technology. Those of us who have been very involved with technology for a good amount of time begin to feel like we know all we need to know, but we can’t forget that there are still people out there who need help and instructions, and sometimes we may even need assistance with something specific. In these situations, Woopid is there for you.

The site consists of instructional videos that help you with certain issues you may have with software, operating systems, Web sites, or even various devices. You won’t find the answers to everything here, but the answers they do provide are helpful and the videos appear to be of good quality. Many times we get used to reading things, but in certain situations it makes a lot more sense to just watch a video and see how something is done. This is where Woopid excels.

Common Mistakes Or Epic Failure?

After reading this top ten list of common mistakes made by new Linux admins, I found myself thinking two completely different things. First, there are some really careless newbie admins out there. And second, most of these tips are good for Windows users as well.

2) Refusal to learn the command line — To this very day with XP, if I need to reset a connection, I am doing so from a cmd prompt, NEVER from a GUI. Why? Because I will generally have much more success with verbose error messages than I will with the hair-brained UI Windows provides. I am also a big fan of netstat amongst other cool commands as well. Clearly, it serves you well to get to know your command line regardless of OS.

3) Weak or no password — This one kills me. It’s bad enough Windows users are running as administrators most of the time, but doing so with a poor password is just begging for trouble.

4) Updates do, indeed, exist — Once again, not running updates on your system is begging for trouble. Thankfully, with all three major platforms, running updates is hardly an act of congress. It could not be easier and doing so will undoubtedly keep you from running an unpatched system.

8) Single partitions are things of nightmares — Again, I don’t care what OS you use. Single partitions are for people who like to live dangerously. Sure, backing up is fine. However, I would hardly put all my faith into a backup exclusively. I prefer keeping my home (aka user) folders on a separate partition. With Linux, for instance, reinstalling is not even a big deal if you have a dedicated home partition as all of your data is safe when you install the OS to the / partition for a redo.

So what about the others? Well number 10 is a bit of a loaded statement, as it is factually correct while still bordering on the paranoid. As for the other tips, I don’t know if they cross platforms all that easily. I mean, most Linux distros would never be foolish enough to set you up as root/admin while Windows chooses to do so. Not pointing fingers; different strokes for different folks. Just pointing out that these are tips the two operating systems do not share.

[awsbullet:operating+system+computer+admin]

What Do Wallpapers Have To Do With Operating Systems?

I was reading an article in which the writer was trying to compare the taste of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. In his writing he used a wallpaper from Apple’s Snow Leopard compared to a wallpaper from Windows 7. He then asked the question which wallpaper was from Apple  was which wallpaper was from Microsoft?

Here are the wallpapers:

Image: Apple Inc.

Image: Microsoft Corp.

Unless you can not read, it is impossible not to tell which image is which since they were labeled. What I couldn’t understand was this supposed to be a comparison of Apple vs Microsoft operating systems? Did the writer know, or even care, that Windows 7 has a long list of different wallpapers?

Or was it a slow news day?

Comments welcome.

Source.

Gazelle Vs Chrome For Operating System 2.0

No one really questions the fact that at some level, a big motivation behind Google Chrome appears to stem from providing seamless access to Google Applications. All of which happen to be Web-based software.

But did you know that Microsoft also appears to be dabbling in this area as well? Based on the earliest reports, the Gazelle is designed to provide a more secure environment from one another. So if there is something that infected one Web app, it would be less likely to carry over to the second application. A bold and worthwhile pursuit to be sure. But considering just how late to the game this would make Microsoft, the real question is: Will anyone pay much attention to the project?

Despite my own misgivings on the words security and Microsoft showing up in the same sentence due to its track record with being slow to react in the past, I think that Gazelle might be something to keep a close eye on. Because Microsoft is correct in assuming that security issues will eventually arise with Web apps, it is worthwhile to explore different means of combating the issue before it becomes a problem much later on.

[awsbullet:web+2+0]

Beware Of Your ATM

Despite the alarmist title in play here, the fact of the matter is that more than ever, ATM machines all over the world are being exploited with malware. Boy, so much for those being secure as we have been told in the past!

Is this only happening to ATMs running Windows? That is debatable I guess. Based on what I am seeing here and here, it sure looks like even customized embedded installs are at risk. But realize I am speculating based on what I am presented with, you know, case studies.

Is there a risk of massive infection? No, only because a lot of ATMs (from what I have been told) use operating systems not based on those easily exploited like Windows. So for my money, I would do yourself a favor and just play it safe. Only use ATMs based in your bank, stay away from those units at quick-marts as they are not owned by your bank and if something looks like it is off, don’t use that ATM. Malware on ATMs is really not something any of us can prevent, but we might be able to lesson the chances of being stung from such an attack.

[awsbullet:safe+banking]

Benefits, Please?

Is there a lack of a compelling reason for some people to let go of their otherwise understood XP installation? It seems that way as even the threat of XP patches coming a stop is not detouring people from sticking with it. The culprit more than any other single issue appears to be the fact that XP is supporting their existing hardware. This is interesting to me as I have found this as being one thing that keeps me from switching people to Linux. Either some odd ball all-in-one device is not detected right or their Broadcom wifi chipset is not working. It’s interesting to see this working in reverse in the XP world preventing Microsoft from taking more people onto the next OS.

On the flip side of things, some people have indeed had really great Vista experiences. Yeah, it’s true. And generally these are people who experienced no hardware incompatibilities and found Vista to meet with their expectations. As Windows 7 approaches, I believe that these individuals will be even happier with their experience once they upgrade to Microsoft’s latest.

But what about users of OS X and Linux? What is preventing us from going back? Power, functionality, control, all of the above?

Being I am not an OS X user, I am forced to use my my wife as an example. She is a Mac user because it works as advertised, provides a stable experience that she can count on and gives her access to software she wants in a compelling way. It is free of random errors based on her own usage and allows her to rock her Epson Stylus Pro 3800 with Photoshop until her heart’s content.

She also finds any changes made to her OS to be an annoyance. So clearly “tweaking” is not an option. Then again, working what she felt like was a consistent work flow was a bonus for her. But in the end, she fully confesses to being an artist, hence why she claims to be such a happy Mac user. Her words, not mine.

For me, I use Debian based Linux distributions. I love to tweak things until it hurts, then make a CD image of the installation excluding the /home directory. This means when I pull a bone headed tweak, repair is very easy. And as for all of my settings, my /home directory is on another partition which translates into me backing up daily. This means next to no downtime. Big thanks to remastersys for this!

Why Debian based distros? Simple – applications, applications and more applications. Using Ubuntu most often, I am finding that I am able to do anything I was doing in Windows and often times saving a bundle in shareware fees along the way. I do a lot with media, so I am enjoying applications for video editing, screen capturing, yes – Ustreaming with Camtwist-like abilities. Shout out to Kino, Cinerella CV, WebCamStudio, amongst others. I am also able to sync my iPod with Songbird, watch DVDs, and scan/print with great ease.

But beyond this, I think it is the ability to cut through all of the crap and really customize the OS the way I like it. Definitely not the best product for someone better suited for a more encapsulated, consistent experience, but for a computer power user willing to invest real time into learning about what Debian based distros are capable of, it is a LOT of fun. I use Ubuntu full time and do not use Windows at all except if when reviewing a specific Windows applications.

Other members of my family swear by Windows XP. For them, there is simply no reason to change things up. The single biggest reason for this is a combination of applications and familiarity. Two areas that are strong when it comes to using an OS for small business or even just for casual home use. My mom for instance, is big on Microsoft Publisher. Sure, there are other applications out there that may be arguably better. But define better? Would they be better for her small business needs? Of course not. She has a paid for application that she is familiar with and does the job quite nicely.

What say you? What about your OS makes it the perfect fit for you? Cutting edge abilities, software, familiarity, logical work flow? Hit the comments, share your perspective.