Originally Posted by haganah
An O/S, Office, and a large email system. The 2 former dominate corporations globally and will rarely change regardless of how many other options are thrown their way.
+1 They've been making serious inroads in the database market too. Oracle and IBM are still tops, but they had a big head-start and MS has made impressive progress in that market.
Originally Posted by A Y
If you look at the history of computing, the somewhat open systems we have now are anomalous. All successful systems in the past have been closed, and as Apple's showing, you can be wildly successful today with a closed system. Open systems are overrated, unreliable, and their costs are often vastly underestimated. Commercially, no open system has yet succeeded. --Andre
a huge +1 Initial costs are usually lower, but for on-going costs they are frequently higher. People forget that cost doesn't just include licensing, but also the salaries of the people you need to maintain the system and the cost of a service going down. These open-source systems rarely have support ecosystems similar to the ones Cisco and Microsoft provide, and a big concern is being able to find the expertise to manage your systems. Cisco and MS both have that covered a lot better that most open-source options, and that's a huge advantage for them. The geeks that go on and on about open-source are rarely the same people that administer enterprise or even medium-sized networks. i've used open-source products in production, but for a very specific need. I purchased a support contract but the level of service wasn't anywhere near what I got from Cisco or MS. When I encountered a couple bugs i found in the system, nobody was really able to help me and I had to find my own solutions as a workaround. I'd personally be very hesitant to go that route again. A little off-topic, but MS is really hitting on all cylinders lately. Server 2008 is a really outstanding product. The lengths to which they have gone to make getting better and more information out of the system, for compliance or reporting purposes is pretty impressive. The whole product is extremely refined. It also has way better security and you can even install the OS as a stripped-down command-line version of windows called Server Core. MS estimates that 80% of their patches revolve around UI aspects, so running server core really increases stability and decreases the attack surface for vulnerabilities. Of course, you can use the gui tools on other servers to remotely administer server core machines if you don't want to use the command line. It's all pretty neat.