For decades the chief innovation of M$ in computing was the bundling of their OS with OEM PCs. That exclusion of competitive OS held the world of IT back from real innovation from the middle 1980s until recently. Still, M$’s salesmen have worked hard to keep consumers and large organizations locked in to M$ by making it “easy” to pay more for the default solution. That’s changing as IT has grown and the costs and complexity of M$’s OS became obvious. Governments have taken a leading role by requiring vendor-independence in IT procurement. There are still issues and recently in Portugal a nail that was sticking up was pounded down…
“Straight from the press release, ESOP, a Portuguese association of open source companies, challenged in the Fiscal and Administrative Court of Almada, a public procurement, 31A2012 for licensing and maintenance of Microsoft software, launched in September, last year, costing about 550.000,00 â‚¬.”
see Illegal procurement favouring #Microsoft in Portugal killed in the courts
The court found for ESOP and killed the tender. That’s obviously the right thing to do, chopping the uncompetitive branch of IT off at the roots. If competition between operating systems is not allowed to thrive nothing competitive will happen in the stem or the branches or the leaves. The fruit, taxed on multiple levels will be unnaturally expensive. FLOSS is a mainstream, viable, effective and wise choice at all levels.
Such problems still exist. It will be a great day when all governments from the UN all the way down to local school boards all give FLOSS a shot at IT. You would think that businesses who care greatly about profitability would see it in their best interests to use FLOSS but they are still locked in. That will be the hardest nut to crack as governments are supposed to be dedicated to serving their constituents and still fell into the trap Wintel laid for them. Too many businesses still assume what’s good for M$ is good for them. It’s not.
I recommend Debian GNU/Linux. If you can’t do it with Debian you probably shouldn’t be doing it.