Developers are key. My major complaints about non-Windows operating systems
is cost. My clients are small to mid-size businesses -- usually with complete
and utter dependence on Windows. If I even suggest they go to something
else, such as Linux, their first question is how much will it cost and what
benefit will it provide (and they're always too short sited to see more than
a year down the road...).

Linux itself is obviously NOT the cost component. Obtaining the other infrastructure
pieces that any modern solution requires is, however, quite expensive when
Microsoft throws them in for the price of the OS. (I'm talking about Web
services, directory services and application services such as an HTTP server,
transaction server, message queuing and load balancing.)

Correct me if I'm missing something about Linux. I'd really love to go to
clients and say Linux and Java but it seems that requires many thousands
of dollars for something like BEA to round-out Linux with the app services
pieces. I know Apache is there for HTTP but is there a free or, at most,
for the cost difference between Linux and NT, an add-on that enables the
other pieces of J2EE? The other tough sell is that these folks have already
paid Microsoft for NT seats so it's going to be tough to ask them to do that
again for some application service that has to be added to Linux.

I'm ready if I someone can show me the numbers...

Robert Radina
Oakwood Systems Group, Inc.
St. Louis