In the grand scheme of things, I don't really care whether you use Linux, BSD, Mac OS X or even Windows - it's your call, and you need to be productive with your computer so use whatever suits you best. But please, please, please use OpenOffice.org rather than Microsoft Office. I know that OOo is missing some of the MSO features. And I know - oh, how we all know - that OOo makes lackadaisical caterpillars look nippy. But if you ever needed a reminder that there are bigger things out there, here it is - Microsoft has, so very generously, announced that if you buy the Home and Student version of Office 2007, they will let you have one language pack free, meaning that you can use Office in English and your own language without having to pay extra.
Yes, that's right: Microsoft wants you to pay extra if you hotdesk in a country such as South Africa, which has multiple official languages and could result in any of 11 different languages being needed. Normally, this wouldn't tick me off too much - after all, if you've paid to climb aboard the Microsoft treadmill, you should kind of expect to be ripped off at various other points as well. But I take particular exception to this campaign because it's being pitched as Microsoft the Magnanimous, the company which is so kind for letting you use the software you already bought in a multi-lingual country.
What I like about free software is British English. Not that I'm overly fussed about the American urge to destroy all Us, but I like the principle behind it - that everyone, including speakers of Aragonese, Inuktitut and Klingon, and yes, even people like the Brits, who Microsoft oppressed with Merkan spelling for years, can have their software in their language. I haven't even heard of half the languages that Ubuntu is being translated into but I'm grateful for all the incredible work those folks put into it. There are lots of languages that Microsoft and others ignore because there's not enough profit in it, and that's an easy win for free software.
So: "Blagodarya," Bulgarian translators. "Grazie," Italian translators. "tlho'," Klingon translators. "Thank you," British English translators. And "screw you," Microsoft.