Confessions of a Capitalist Luddite

At the risk of your ensuing your wrath, I will admit it, I am a Windows user. Flame on. The reality is that I am not a geek, and have certain requirements that keep me on Windows. For example, at home I am burdened with a two-way satellite connection by Direcway–which does not support Linux. Please don’t suggest I write a driver, I am more likely to climb the trees along my driveway and string the 440 yards of cable I need to connect to my local cable provider. Why not MAC? I am seriously considering it. Don’t even think about me installing a server at home, in that regard, I am a card-carrying Luddite.

Confessions aside, I am truly trying to limit my dependence on Redmond. I use Firefox, Skype, Typo3, Open-Xchange, and OpenOffice. I probably touch many other Linux/Open Source products that I don’t even realize, from my home to my office. Like most marketeers that are the scorn of developers, I don’t really care what operating system runs my phone, I just want it to work, and I don’t want Redmond to benefit from it.

I have a vested interest in seeing Linux take market share from Microsoft. I am a capitalist, and generally believe that most Linux and Open Source executives are as well. If you want to debate this, then ask yourself why the VCs invest in companies like SugarCRM, XenSource, and Collax? But, I digress.

Capitalists, where is the Open Source equivalent of Outlook? Please, don’t give me a list of products that run on Linux desktops, I am asking about a Windows offering. What better way to ease people from their mindless dependence on Windows than to break their dependence on their calendar, contact, and off-line mail system? Google can break the back-end for the consumer, but most of us still want to have a client application. I have to be able to work with my mail, contacts, and calendar when I am un-tethered from the Internet (on a plane, by my pool, at my dad’s house, in a bad hotel). In addition, I have to be able to synchronize with corporate email, CRM, and my Treo. This could be the first step. Call it “Outlast.” Grab market share and then tempt the uninitiated with more open source applications.

There probably are some projects out there that are addressing this. I am just too busy (or perhaps lazy) to find them and test them out. But, a new year is coming and I am planning my resolutions early; I am ready to break my dependence… step by step, inch by inch (and don’t call me a stooge).

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