How things change: whereas only a few years ago Windows was my main platform for work, last year before I knocked off for the summer holidays, I realised that if Microsoft disappeared, life would go on without skipping a beat.
Ubiquitous fast internet connections, cloud-based apps and storage and open source software together mean there aren't many situations for which your typical Kiwi business would have to go down the Windows route.
To its credit, Microsoft knows this, and is adjusting to the new reality. This month, one of Microsoft's senior super techies, Mark Russinovich, even said that the company is thinking about making Windows open source (tinyurl.com/opensourcemove).
That's right - no more trash-talking of Linux from Redmond.
Instead, Microsoft's Azure cloud loves the Penguin operating system, and Russinovich said about a fifth of all virtual machines on it are Linux based.
It makes sense too. Computing today means you need to scale from small to large quickly and efficiently, on any platform.
That means reusing existing code, and adapting it to your needs as a business and being part of a development community.
Meanwhile, last year Windows operating system revenue for PCs dropped by two-thirds of a billion (tinyurl.com/pcrevenue). Microsoft can't ignore that fact along with the closed Windows being the square peg in the round hole in today's web scale IT environment.
Microsoft's already started the painful move away from traditional software licensing sales to an as-a-service rental model, and the company is releasing an increasing amount of code as open source. Free to use, and free to modify. Just like Linux and BSD.
There's a good deal of suspicion over Microsoft's moves from the open source community, but they do seem genuine.
Will it be brave enough to fling Windows open and release the code? Perhaps the question should be: does Microsoft have any other alternative but to make Windows open source, if the company wants it to survive?
Gear: Uber Group wireless broadband
Trying to earn a wedge in areas outside the main cities and towns from something else than large scale logging or dairy can be quite challenging, if you need an internet connection - and who doesn't in 2015?
This is particularly true in the beautiful Hokianga, which has been shamefully neglected by successive governments on just about every count. Which is strange really, given it's the oldest settled part of New Zealand and generally a fantastic place.
Getting broadband up north is a challenge, to put it mildly. DSL copper broadband is available in some areas, ditto Rural Broadband Initiative 3G fixed-wireless with six towers in Northland, and the normal mobile data connections should you be in the coverage area.
From what I've seen so far, none of the three alternatives are workable if you want a reliable and fast service.
Luckily, there's a local alternative that delivers decent broadband, Whangarei-based Uber Group's wireless service that runs in the 5GHz frequency band and I decided to give it a go (ubergroup.co.nz/).
This is actually the second time I've gone with a wireless service over a fixed one - first time was in 2004 when I (and several others) signed up with Wired Country, after being dismayed by Telecom's then exorbitant pricing and low speeds for DSL broadband (tinyurl.com/wiredcountry).
Installation costs $199 and putting up the square rooftop aerial and connecting it to a small Mikrotik router inside the house was painless and quick; the roof antenna uses only between six and 10 Watts which means it can be fed through an Ethernet network cable using low voltage.
The little router has 2.4GHz Wi-Fi as well as an ethernet network connector, and is unobtrusive enough.
Uber Group offers several plans for the 10Mbps down, 6Mbps upload service - I picked the top one for $99 a month that gives you a 70GB data cap. That's on the low side, but far better than the 30GB maximum RBI through Vodafone provides.
As the Uber distribution tower that my equipment connects to is just under 3km away over a body of water, I had initial misgivings about service stability.
The concerns were unfounded, however, and the Uber Service has been very reliable.
I especially like the 6Mbps upload speeds, good for sending large files, and the low latency which means the Herald site, for instance, is only 16 to 20 milliseconds away, and very responsive as a result.
Speeds are good with no YouTube buffering and drop outs.
In fact, the biggest problem with the service is unrelated to Uber Group itself, and is caused by the terrible power supply in Northland.
Yes, the next thing for me to look into will have to be some form of battery-backed alternative power arrangement.
Overall, I'm pleased with Uber Group's wireless service and hope they'll be able to develop it further with higher speeds and larger data caps, since we're now in the Netflix era.
It's great to see a local outfitgoing that extra mile to build a cool service.
Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.