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The cost of deploying and running Linux vs. Windows has been a hot topic lately, fueled by a number of high-profile Linux adoptions and evaluations by government entities in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and Microsoft's own licensing woes. Microsoft has further fanned the fires by sponsoring a number of total-cost-of-ownership surveys that gave favorable marks to Windows. In addition to the cost issues, the 2.6.5 Linux kernel, released a few weeks ago, features improved performance and processor support that boosts Linux's standing among network executives.
Obviously the "Experts" don't know all the facts. The problem is you are trying to change a culture. Granted the learning curve is moderate but once you know how to find information and can think at the 3rd grade level you can deploy and run Linux with less money, I have done so and I am a Window convert. I had to unlearn the "Windows Way" and begin how to actually think but once you do it is liberating. Granted, there is more middleware and such but overall once you get out of the "hand-holding" mode and truly learn to be and real programmer and admin you have NO PROBLEM administering a heterogenous environment.