Are you an operating system agnostic? (Hint: I bet you are)

Summary:Only a week after buying my first ever MacBook, it hasn't changed my opinion of Windows. It has though made me realise I am OS agnostic.

Considering I have not spent more than an hour of my life using Mac OS X, jumping about the cultural shift train when my new MacBook Air arrived on Friday should have come as a shock -- considering my own personal admission to an increasingly dependent reliance on Windows.

Truthfully, the transition from Windows to Mac has been relatively easy -- with only a few quirks to learn along the way.

But the one thing -- only half a week later from the arrival of my new beast of a note-slash-netbook, is that I am and always have been agnostic to operating systems. I just never knew it until I forced a change of hand, and I suspect you -- the reader -- may be the same.

(Image via Flickr)

In reality, I have not transitioned at all. I have learned, and subconsciously compared and contrasted, but I have not actively switched from one to the other.

With Windows, one has to be aware of 'Windows rot', database files, caches and the build up of disk space over time, taken over by temporary files and updates that slowly wear away at the system.

Whether or not this truly exists in the Mac world, I have used up only 13% of my 128GB solid state drive, and it has remained as such since the day it arrived, and installed the junk I need to keep my productive life going.

It's a shift I have never taken before. Being used to something old and decrepit, that works but sometimes breaks, and often needs a kick up the backside to get going again was fine, truth be known.

With my Mac, I have to leave many preconceptions and worries at the door. It seems that I do not need to clear my cache files that often, or need to wipe my Internet history or temporary files each week to remove the constant clog of files on my system.

This, as you may have guessed, is the ramblings of someone very much in the 'honeymoon' period; yet to work out the difficulties and set backs that Mac has yet to show, over the Windows operating system that I am so used to.

And on the subject of honesty -- I have not switched on my Windows-running desktop upstairs since my MacBook Air arrived. I simply have had no need to.

Despite the closed 'app-store only' nature of iOS, for newcomers, Mac OS X is not. It doesn't need jail-breaking, nor does it require hacking to get the applications you want to work on it.

For that reason alone, again despite the Windows versus Mac divide, so far all but one application is available on Mac OS X as it is on Windows. The one that isn't, is Paint.NET -- an old version of the popular image editing software, for which I use instead of the overbearing clutter that PhotoShop has to offer.

But already, I feel as though I am cheating on my new MacBook purchase by running virtualisation software, to emulate my Boot Camp partition to run Windows applications within the Mac OS X interface.

While I have my Mac OS X Lion based MacBook running multi-platform software -- like Chrome, Microsoft Office, Skype and Dropbox, there is still a need to at least have the opportunity more than anything to run Windows applications directly from one's MacBook.

Simply having the option there is enough to make me feel all-rounded more comfortable; knowing I have a fall back option ready on my MacBook wherever I am in the world. As a netbook-like solution, my MacBook Air will replace my current netbook and travel the world with me when I next travel.

And this sets me to my point. I am operating system agnostic. It doesn't matter what I use, when it is or how I use it -- whether it is a strand of Linux I have never used, Mac OS X or Windows 3.1 through to Windows 7 -- I'll use it regardless.

I suspect that actually, while most will have their own personal preference, I believe many follow this pattern too. It does not matter which browser, operating system, program or service you use -- it falls down to whether the job can be done or not. If it can, then continue. If not, by all means move on.

No doubt most will agree: video editing software is better on a Mac, whereas productivity and office documents are better for Windows. The Mac vs. PC adverts on the television do highlight a point, and though jocular and with a staunch anti-PC bias, many prefer to be productive to editing videos.

At the end of the day, productivity in itself is relative. Video editing may well be someone's job; what right do we have to disparage? We pick the devices for what we feel is best.

Perhaps I would have woken up to Mac OS X if I were able to run it alongside Windows on a PC. The fact that you can run Windows on a Mac shows more about Apple than it does about Microsoft; yet equally negates the positivity by restricting Mac OS X to a Mac computer.

It's like a Venn diagram out of control; emulating the London 2012 Olympic logo; with jagged edges and overly highlighted spewed-up collage pieces.

Though I am now a proud Mac owner, and still a productive soldier with my desktop and office-based Windows PC sitting in the desktop -- with a brand new desktop PC on its way to replace the ailing model I have -- I am proud to say I am OS agnostic.

It just took a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt -- and a risky credit card payment to prove it to myself -- even if it was by force.

Now, who's up for a crack at Ubuntu?

Related content:

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Hardware, Software, Windows

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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