A multitude of operating systems

Like buses, it seems that a whole hoard of operating systems is descending upon us at once. OS X 10.6 came first and it was the turn of Windows 7 last week with all of the excitement that it generated in the computing and technology media. Next up will be Ubuntu, already a source of some embarrassment for the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones when he got his facts muddled; to his credit he later corrected himself though I do wonder how up to speed is his appreciated that Ubuntu has its distinct flavours with a netbook variant being different to the main offering that I use. Along with Ubuntu 9.10, Fedora 12 and openSUSE 11.2 are also in the wings. As if all these weren’t enough, the latest issue of PC Plus gives an airing to less well-known operating systems like Haiku (the project that carries on BeOS). The inescapable conclusion is that, far from the impressions of mainstream computer users who know only Windows, we are swimming in a sea of operating system options in which you may drown if you decide to try sampling them all. That may explain why I stick with Ubuntu for home use due to reasons of familiarity and reliability and leave much of the distro hopping to others. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Windows is the choice of where I work with 2000 being usurped by Vista in the next few weeks (IT managers always like to be behind the curve for sake of safety).