OS ecosystems

Colin Howe wrote an interesting article last week comparing the Windows and Ubuntu worlds, not the operating systems per se. Feature-by-feature comparisons of operating systems are not that helpful. Contemporary operating systems have a lot in common in their details, but they create very different ecosystems. These ecosystem differences are not apparent at first, but in the long run they dominate the experience of using an operating system.

You can run a lot of the same software across different operating systems, but using software that wasn’t originally designed with your OS in mind can be like importing an invasive species. It may work at first but cause you grief over time when it doesn’t play well with others.

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