Perhaps switching off the Microsoft OS is not possible for you right
now, or you can’t afford a second machine to mess with. There are still
alternatives. On my main development machine, a Windows XP Professional
machine, Mozilla is my default
browser. Mozilla is more than just a browser, it’s an internet
application development environment, with HTML markup editors and
is my default office suite, with built-in word processing, spreadsheets
and presentation packages competitive with any of the commercial
suites. I used the OpenOffice.org Write and Impress packages at the
recent Great Lakes Great Database Workshop conference to present my white papers and slides, without any problems.
And, if you’d like to dip your toes into the water without fully committing to a Linux install, check out Knoppix.
Knoppix is a full Linux distribution that boots and runs from CD,
without writing to your hard drive at all. This is a great way to try
Linux out without messing with your machine, although, of course, you
lose any changes when you shut down your machine. I’ve heard that
people have gotten their USB storage devices to work with Knoppix to
save documents. Check it out. It’s free.