Apologies, I originally intended to write a longer response but had too many tabs open, which ended up crashing by browser, lol.
It’s hard to be 100% with these things, but saying “no” to bad practices even once is an improvement over nothing, so keep that in mind.
We are also creatures of habit, so I would encourage you to try to challenge yourself into using the things you’d like to be using for a longer while to see if it sticks. For me, this was easy, because I was forced into daily driving Linux and so on for years due to just not having the budget for the newest Apple products or whatever, and when someone gave me a newer computer that came with Windows 8 or something, I didn’t find any real use for it and it kept gathering dust until I installed Linux on it too.
And because social circles are really important too, I think you’ll find it really encouraging to hear that due to my “dedication” to this matter, almost everyone I care about has actually already followed me to alternatives like Matrix, so I can contact almost everyone with E2EE these days! :)
If you still find yourself feeling limited after something like that, I think if I were in your situation, I might consider running Windows inside Qubes OS or something, though maybe not for gaming due to the performance costs associated with virtualization.
I ended up looking into it, and if I understood this page correctly, it looks like some work has been put into integrating Whonix more seamlessly into Qubes, so that instead of running Whonix VMs inside one Qubes VM, Whonix should be running as several Qubes VMs that work together.
Seconding this! I’ve had the best success by using Linux to revive people’s old laptops that just couldn’t run other modern OSes fast enough, and if they’ve been impressed enough, they’ve ended up installing it on their other devices. Even if not (say, if it didn’t support some applications required for work, for example), they’ve usually at least kept it on said laptop.
I could see something like this being pulled off by a morally grey group like Anonymous or something, or even an APT, and I get the feeling that the community wouldn’t have been half as offended if either of those were the case.
But serious academics doing this using their real names?! It’s a little amazing that any of this got approved both from a legal and an ethical perspective, and the consequences are completely unsurprising. To quote Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Good luck with your experiment!
Admittedly, I rarely need OneDrive, so I’ve usually just accessed it with my browser when I’ve had to. Physical memory has gotten pretty cheap these days though, so as long as it’s encrypted with a sufficiently strong passphrase, the SSD might not be a bad idea!
If appropriate, there are also a few options like Nextcloud, but I’m under the impression that the E2EE feature on it is a bit experimental at the moment, so I wouldn’t use it for anything critical right now.
As for trying to make OneDrive itself work better, all I could find was this thread where it was mentioned that the CLI client should come with an automatic syncing feature (the --monitor flag). Have you tried that yet? Fortunately, it seems that Microsoft has been porting a few of their services like Teams to Linux lately (thank god, because I actually need to use that one regularly for work), so maybe one day an official app will be available for OneDrive as well.