A newbies perspective
I like this idea.
First I must say that I am a Windows user by default (sorry), and I only write this from the perspective of a newbie to any *nix environment.
For the past few months, I have been using Linux, running it at home and on a few boxes at my day job.
(OK, now to my point)
My boss wishes to upgrade from MS Office 97 to 2000 and the same for Win9x to Win2K, but he doesn’t like the price or the fact that I have to call Micro$oft every time I install to validate that I truly do own the software & a license. Not to mention the fact that in 6 months I will have to redo the process because any MS Windows box will come to a creeping halt @ that time. (Repeat above process.)
I have tried to explain to him that migrating to a Linux environment would save us vast amounts of trouble/reinstalls/money and we should look to it for all of our future needs.
Now enter 100+ employees into this equation, each of which will need to be able to their apps as easily as they did in the old MS Windows environment.
I understand, in my position as Sysadmin, I should be able to set these boxes up for them in this way and expect them to only learn the new apps they have available to them. But for a sysadmin that has only MS Windows experience this would be a daunting task.
You retort: Of course it is, but if they do not like it, they should stay in their happy MS Windows environment and suffer. (I have seen this sentiment above numerous times.)
Is the goal of Linux (BSD, etc.) not to offer users a more robust/reliable operating system? One that is not only free but also dependable? (I may have missed a few bullet points here.)
(Note: My boss would gladly contribute to monetarily (Or via hardware, etc.) to open source development projects, but he needs reassurance that his employees will be able to use the new software without a major training period. (They need not be sysadmins.))
Yes, I understand there will always be the issue of libs & other dependency issues, but for individual applications, this would make my life (and others) a lot easier. Moreover, it would open Linux, etc. to a much larger group of individuals, not just the elite few.
My final point being that if Linux is to become welcome on the boxes of home & office users alike they should not be required to become sysadmins first.