How come OS X is acceptable?

One of the first times I visited Fosdem, some 3 or 4 years ago, I read afterwards about how someone complained of a speaker who gave his talk with a laptop running a proprietary OS, in casus Microsoft Windows. Now obviously, on an event like Fosdem, such a thing is quite rare,and probably not the best thing if you want to avoid feeding the trolls.

However, the number of people having macs, running OS X, is definitely impressing. OSX might be the most user friendly Unix desktop OS and all, as far as I am concerned, it remains a propretary OS. Darwin doesn’t make a difference here. Now, I don’t object to people running proprietary software as such. I myself ditched Windows only less than two years ago at home, and at work I only run Ubuntu since two weeks, since I switched earlier this month for a boss who accepts that. And even now I still run some proprietary software (the usual codecs and drivers, pouring some Windows app in wine, ..) when I need to.

But I always thought, back in the days I ran mostly Windows, that I couldn’t advocate Open Source if I didn’t use it myself. And the most customer-facing way of doing that is by running some Linux distro on the laptop one works on daily. So it always strikes me when I notice some long time Linux/OSS advocates – definitely not running Windows, but – settling with a mac and OS X.

I remember when I assisted an Orbid customer some years ago, who hired some “Linux hacker” via a couple of years ago. This Microsoft shop, a big international company has interest in testing Linux and hires somebody who presents himself as representing the senior Belgian Linux gurus. He makes a general good impression (to the customer), only afterwards I had to agree with the customer it was a bit weird that this person ran OS X on his mac.
— He advocates Linux but doesn’t use it himself. Hmmm.

This afternoon, I met Belgium’s most famous Linux chick irl. You guessed it. Uses OS X. Bummer.

This evening, coming home from LinuxWorld, I updated on my rss feeds. Guess what. An owner at Belgium’s most stable, decent quality hoster and OSS advocate tries to switch to OS X.

Everything is marketing.