Digital Workplaces

I have used pretty much every major consumer OS out there by now, and I’ve come to one hell of a realization.

They’re damn workplaces. Imagine the following, and then work up the guts to tell me I’m wrong. You can’t. Because you’d be lying to me and yourself.


MacOS X is like a really artsy but pretentious office. Everything looks nice, great even, and as long as you stay within their eccentric system of doing things, everything will be okay. But God help you if you so much as move a post-it note out of place — then your boss and coworkers freak out and nobody talks to you or helps you because you have attempted to violate the sanctity and cleanliness of their safe, “open” work environment. Also, everyone seems to want to work here for some reason but it’s majorly hard to get in… and those who work here too long REALLY seem to thrive in this environment to a somewhat creepy extent.

Windows 10 is a cubicle at a big business. You can add some posters, calendars, get chatty with the cute and funny secretary named Cortana, and bring any device you want to do your work on; but ultimately, there’s no disguising the fact that you are locked in and the company above you dicates almost everything you can do. But most of the world works this way, so you sit in your little cubicle and accept the price you pay in exchange for the phenomenal amount of resources you get in return.

Chrome OS is an aimless professional blogger who never seems tied down to anything but his internet connection. He has a huge amount of freedom because he’s being fully sponsored by a big and absurdly wealthy company that only has a marginal interest in his very existence. He can get anything done anywhere. He’s very friendly, helpful, fun to be around, and he’s rarely a drag. But once the internet goes, he freaks out because his livelihood depends on him staying connected. He says it’s okay though; there’s always a place with free wifi available SOMEWHERE and all his devices are travel-friendly for exactly that eventuality.

Linux is a loose confederation of garage-based do-it-yourselfers. They like to handle things themselves and frequently disdain corporate interests. Their hand made creations are many: some are polished hot rods that look as sleek and perform as good or better than the finest products from big corporations and design firms, while others assembled by less skilled or dedicated hands are more like shabby go-karts assembled from scrap metal with duct tape and spew black smoke from the exhaust pipe every half hour. The one constant is that they are very proud of their creations regardless of its quality. However, they can also be prone to assuming that just because the DIY approach works wonders on their project that it will work equally well for everyone else they seem to know, and become either confused or irate (sometimes both) when it is pointed out to them that this isn’t always the case.


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