After a short vacation during which I made a traveling test with Linux, which was very successful, I decided to continue the test by using it as much as possible for my work this week. As I have mentioned previously, I have my primary laptop set up to multi-boot Windows XP Professional, Ubuntu or Mandriva, so it is just as easy for me to boot Linux as Windows at any time. I was very curious as to how many times during the week I would "have to" boot Windows.
What I have found, in a nutshell, is that I have to run Windows in order to use the Sierra Wireless AirCard for HSPA cellular access, and that's just about it. I use my laptop at home, either wireless or wired to a Linksys router, in the office, connected to the company wired network, and on the bus and train as I commute, with cellular access. So two out of three times I have been able to run Linux.
When I am at home, I need internet access (duh), email (Thunderbird, the same as I use when on Windows), web surfing (Firefox, the same as I use when on Windows), Gizmo5 (the same as I use when on Windows), digital photo management, and a few other utilities.
When I am at work, I need the Citrix VPN client (the same as I use on Windows), XTerm and/or other remote terminal access to our internal company hosts, OpenOffice (which I use on the same documents that I work on with MS Office on Windows), email and web surfing, and a few other utilities.
During my commute, I need HSPA cellular access, so I have to boot up Windows for that part of my day. It would be nice if I could get the Sierra Wireless card working on Linux, of course, so that is on my priority list now.
Of course, I have made some choices which make this a bit easier for me. I have used Firefox and Thunderbird on Windows for a long time, originally because I simply wanted something other than the MS equivalents (you still couldn't pay me enough to use Outlook!). Now I use them on Linux as well, not necessarily because I think they are better than any of the "standard" Linux equivalents, but it makes moving back and forth a lot easier. But the important point is, the choices are there, the functionality exists and is at least as good as what you are accustomed to on Windows (including OpenOffice vs. MS Office).
So, think about it. What do you use your PC for, at home, at work or when traveling? What kind of things do you need to do on a regular basis? Could you do it with Linux? I'd love to hear in comments about other things that do and don't work, or exist, on Linux.