I await the the day when the term “compatible” will become obsolete. The day where you won’t need ten different cables to connect various peripherals to your desktop/notebook. Where corporate firms no longer have a say in what computer users can or cannot do with their operating systems. Where software of any kind will run on hardware of any kind in an elegant harmony. Where everything will just “work.”
It’s the sad truth that Windows currently has the overwhelming market share in personal operating systems. Apple has been catching on, especially with the younger population, but for what I believe is the wrong reason. These days, it’s “cool” to own Apple. Why? Because you can add some nifty effects to pictures? Because instead of the heralded “start-menu”, it has a dock? *Sigh.* I hope not. Rather, Apple has done a pretty good job reducing the work a user has to do in installing peripherals and software. It has taken an already amazing foundation in FreeBSD and ramped it up to a user-friendly distribution which we call OS X Leopard. At the same time, Linux has been picking up steam. The open source community is amazing in that there is technically no limit to what’s possible; however, since the majority of Linux users and developers are unpaid people like you and me who voluntarily spend hours programming for the greater good of computing, progress comes with lots of time.
I use all three operating systems (Leopard OS X, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows XP) on a daily basis, but find myself having difficulty with cross-platform tasks. It’s hard to find software which has been properly ported to perform identically on all three OS platforms. I’m always having to use Windows for gaming (against my will) as Linux and OS X have crud support as of late. Even with utilities like Wine and CrossOver, it’s just not the same. Einstein wished for a unification between the four fundamental forces of nature, and scientists have been trying to fulfill his dream through the elegance of string theory. Rishi wishes for a unification between the three major operating systems, and the computing world has been trying to fulfill his dream through the elegance of open source. At this rate, I think Einstein’s dream will come true first. 🙁