Here’s something you might not have expected to find in my home: a retail copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium.

No, I’m not abandoning Mac OS X (or Ubuntu Linux, for that matter). While Windows has not been my primary operating system for a long time, I have pretty much always had a copy of Windows around either on a secondary computer or in virtualization environments. I need it to do cross-platform web site testing, run some mobile emulators that only work in Windows (primarily BlackBerry OS and Windows Mobile), and a handful of other ‘occasional’ tasks.

I’ve been running Windows 5.1 (XP) for ages as my pet Windows and, like most of you, I skipped version 6 (Vista) entirely. Now that Microsoft has a stable, functioning version of Windows on the market, XP support is finally starting to fade away. Microsoft has already announced that the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 will not run in XP, and the development kit and emulator for Windows Phone 7 will require Vista or higher too. If I intend to support these platforms (and I do), I need to upgrade.

Plus, I’m getting more and more tech support requests from friends on Vista and 7, so it’s about time that I got more familiar with the newer platform.