It was back in the 90′s – I was calling on a small computer company in Austin that had just introduced a new operating system named OS/2. It was a pretty neat operating system, years ahead of Microsoft’s Windows 95, and I’d wager to say a good portion of the technologists started adopting it. And when that same small computer company started shipping their office software package named Symphony, I, and many of my peers, removed the last remnants of any Microsoft products from our hard disks and proudly proclaimed ourselves to be “Microsoft Free.”
Maybe a decade or so later, KDE and Gnome started making shells for the then-dominant Linux version, Red Hat. And around the same time, Sun Microsystems bought Star Office from its German author and turned it into open source as Open Office. Again, a good number of the geek community took the occasion to go “Microsoft Free.”
Similarly, a large number of Mac users have used the advent of OS X and iWorks (as well as Numbers, Keynote and Pages) to again go “Microsoft Free.”
See a theme here?
Well, my struggles are a bit different. As much as I love my iPod, I’m equally unhappy with the software it’s tethered to, iTunes. It’s huge and bloated, runs a large number of performance-sapping and unnecessary background processes, and every major revision seems to break something else. I could go on but you get the picture.
Well, for a month or so I’ve been porting my music libraries to MediaMonkey. Podcasts took a little extra work, but in the end, I had weaned myself from a six-year iTunes habit. The only thing left to do was remove iTunes, Quicktime and a couple Apple utilities. That was completed yesterday. Today I’m “Apple Free.”
“Apple Free” wasn’t really the objective – The real objective was to lose iTunes – But now that I’m here, I’m certain I’m a trend-setter … Just like I was with OS/2!
Disclaimer: iTunes does seem to work fine on my Mac. But it’s a real nuisance on the PC. Good riddance!