Talk about ironic. Microsoft has launched a new chapter of its Windows Vista advertising campaign, branded around the line "I'm a PC." I suspect Microsoft is trying to communicate that PCs have open architectures and have a far larger user population than Apple Macintoshes. Still, Microsoft overlooked one important fact in its "I'm a PC" ad campaign: The best part of open hardware involves the rising popularity of open software like Ubuntu Linux.

As I blog from Ubuntu Linux on my Dell PC, I'm thrilled to be free of Windows Vista and Windows XP, and all of the security headaches I used to endure.

Microsoft deserves credit for pioneering the world of low-cost microprocessor software in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Too many of us forget how expensive (and complex) life was during the mainframe, mini-computer and Unix ages. With Windows and open PC hardware came customer choice, lower-cost applications and competition in the software market.

That healthy competition nearly died in the mid-1990s as Windows became too dominant on the desktop. But Linux and Mac OS X have restored competition on the desktop.

During most days, I proudly say "I'm a Mac" because I continue to use my MacBook Pro for many applications. However, when I say "I'm a PC," the phrase doesn't include Windows or Microsoft. Instead, my PC proudly runs Ubuntu Linux.

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