This got me thinking about Microsoft's hegemony in the personal computer software market and what chances there are for breaking through it.
Apple's market share for retail PCs is up to about 14%, which is pretty good. Still, many of those machines end up running Microsoft software. Specifically, MS Office seems to be the big, ubiquitous beast.
If you want to end (or at least lessen) your dependence on Microsoft, try some or all of these solutions:
- Ubuntu replaces Windows: Linux used to be for only the most ambitious turbo geeks. Installing it meant knowing more than anybody should ever know about hard drive architecture, video drivers, and disk partitions. That has all changed. With distributions such as Ubuntu, anybody can install Linux with just a few clicks.
- Firefox instead of IE: I have liked the Mozilla browsers forever. Firefox has great features and superior security.
- gmail instead of MS Outlook: gmail's contacts feature is much-improved and synchronization with my blackberry is finally possible. I can access my gmail from anywhere (including from my BlackBerry,) and I really like the labels feature.
- Google Docs instead of MS Word, MS Excel: Now, I can write, read, print, and share documents without using MS Office.