Very well written, and almost complete. While a thorough examination of the various flavors of Linux is overkill, Linux distributions of late are a virtually painless transition from Windows, up through Windows 7. Overall, you done good!
Thank you Timothy, that’s very kind of you. I do agree that Ubuntu is good and I also agreed that it is less of a culture shock to move from all previous versions of Windows to Ubuntu, than it is to move from them to Windows 8. The only reason I have not included Ubuntu here is market share. For all its merits Ubuntu has a tiny market share and very little sign that that is going to change. That means a user has to go out of his way to get and install it, rather than just buy a Chromebase, which has an equally small culture shock, but comes setup and ready to run with built in automatic online backup (you will have noticed I am very keen on automatic backups, it comes from seeing a lot of disasters when they are not in place). I have added some text in the "But this is all nonsense section" to cover this point.
You left out one very Major player in the OS talk. Linux has become very user friendly in the past few years and Distros like Linux Mint and Ubuntu give a user very good security and you can run them on less expensive hardware. Many folks with an old XP or Windows Vista machine can install Linux on them and have an up to date system that's both fast and secure and it won't cost them any money in a hardware upgrade. They'll just "spend" their time downloading the OS (for free) and burning it to a DVD or USB stick to do the install from.
I found the discussion of Chrome OS "auto backup" interesting. Is this a TNO (Trust No One) encrypted backup? or does Google have 100% access to all your files so they can index and look for interesting things to target ads specifically for you? That would be my only concern on the Chrome OS as a solution. And I haven't decided how much it matters.
Darrell, glance up a little bit on the comments and you will see I gave my reasons for omitting Linux. I also did a piece in the “But this is all nonsense section”.
I doubt Google Drive could be TNO, because they never gave me a key to manage. However, it’s all about relative risk. My phone rarely sees a day without someone calling having lost all their files. Backups and infections are the twin plagues out there amongst normal people using home computers. The risk of loss is vast, real and happening every day. The risk of Google misusing data to any degree (and being prepared to live with the public kick back) is small (if fun to debate).
Excellent info (heard about from Steve Gibson). I recently changed from Windows to MacBookProRetina (wanted full machine with great display for processing pictures in Lightroom while traveling). Typo in the "Mac Book Air" link on this page: should be "macbook-air" instead of "mac-book-air".
Thank you, I got that fixed. To anyone else reading this: reports of typos are very welcome. It’s hard to spot them if you write it. Keep um coming!
Actually, I meant the LINK has the typo (so it takes you to the home page instead of the MacBook Air page). As far as the spelling, Apple uses "MacBook Air".
Oh I see. Got it (I think).