Please don't consider me out of touch with current technology. I will be the first one to admit that I am not an expert in everything, but please don't make generalization accusing me that I don't know specific software. Yes, I know exactly what Cobbler and Puppet are. They still don't do _everything_ that AD does. It's like saying Calc is just as good as excel because it has 95% of the features. If you are a heavy user of one of those 5%... well, then it isn't good enough.
I could say you don't know how to program in prolog or ada, and therefore you can't possibly understand some of the programming issues that I have had to resolve in production systems.
Your response is a perfect characterization of the arrogance of linux. There just isn't a simple solution. Linux does work great on the backend, but please give me a solution for Visio, for Project, for Sharepoint, for Photoshop, for Dynamics, for CATIA or Creo Elements? And no, WINE doesn't work in these scenarios. Too slow, and if it crashes, now you have engineers who make as much as high end programmer who are sitting there twittling their thumbs while I spend hours or weeks trying to figure it out. Give me a (good) FEA software that doesn't run on Windows. Now give me software that won't take weeks or months of downtime for training.
I am also not referring to a large organization, which have their own intrinsic issues in migrating legacy application so that they may utilize Linux. I am personally much more knowledgeable about small and mid size businesses. (under 2000 employees) Are you recommending that each and every company have on staff programmers to customize beta software that used to be solved by purchasing commercial off the shelf solutions? Now how about telling those same organizations that due to the GPL, that those customizations have to be given back to the community and can then be utilized directly by their competitors. Trust me, it ain't an easy sell.
I am also not talking about back end system but rather the interface for them.
I don't simply work in the IT department as a lackey. (although that was me 15 years ago) I have to interface with many people in the company, and out side the company in my consulting practice. The fact is, Microsoft has set up a wonderful (kidding) system of certifications. We all remember the "book" certified MSCE2k who couldn't admin their way out of a paper bag in the boom. They could easily be let go. However, you can hire another one for 40k a year, and if he doesn't work out, replace him, rather than finding a RHEL certified person at 85k to 95k a year who may not work out (Did he set up everything correctly? As he was pressed for time, did he actually document everything, as you know there are 1000 ways to do the same thing. If you let him go, it will take the new guy 6 months to figure out how and why things are set up.. Have you actually used Red Hat support? At three in the morning on a Sunday?
I know CPA's who _only_ know quickbooks, and make over 250k a year working _only_ in quickbooks. I have seen companies with 100M/year in sales still using Great Plains in DOS. Don't underestimate the power of _not_ changing.
Hey, I didn't make the rules... I just know enough of them 'em to be moderately successful. I have many linux and FreeBSD servers running at many companies. Although well documented, I doubt many C level employees (other than the CIO) even realize it, because I didn't take away their precious outlook or excel. People abhor major change. Finance and accounting people even more so than normal people. Just look at the pushback with the ribbon interface in office.
If I were to start a new brick and mortar business, I would run Linux on the desktop (actually, I would run dumb terminals like a HP t410 AiO linking back to a main server, going full circle back to the 1970's.)
When I was referring to "a lot of people" I was not referring to people in the IT department, but rather other departments, or the "man on the street".