Here’s another example where a writer confuses issues and suggests that applications are operating system-specific. Something that compiles in Linux will generally compile in other POSIX-compliant operating systems with C compilers (including Windows NT, albeit limited). This is where Richard Stallman’s bleating about “GNU/Linux” is valid: Linux is a kernel, and it relies on the GNU (or some other) C compiler — though GCC is the usual suspect — and other tools to complete an operating system. Thus, there isn’t a really a single “Linux application” so much as there are applications that will compile and/or run in an environment running on a Linux kernel.
So here’s the list of Eight Must-Have Linux Applications. The funny thing is, only one (Rosegarden) is exclusively Linux-oriented. The rest either have Windows ports or available Windows installers. Those with Windows ports include AVG (anti-virus — yes, this is apropos for Linux desktops!), GIMP, Thunderbird, Open Office, and Pidgin. The two with Windows installers are Amarok and Evolution.
By the way, that wouldn’t be my top eight list. I need to post an update on my BSD blog about how I’ve set things up since switching to FreeBSD.
The point is, you can use good open source software regardless of your choice of operating system. Those with Windows ports work the same exact way in Windows that they work in Linux, FreeBSD, or whichever operating system makes you feel most comfortable. You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.