"Ironically, the biggest fans of FOSS are those who profess to be IT professionals."
No irony there. IT professionals can either (more or less)
1) Plug together proprietary software. It costs real money, and if something goes wrong, it's up to the company essentially to document the problem, with a possibility of some web support. Documentation can vary from great to horrible. Some companies are good with bugs, some are awful and essentially "fix" bugs by saying "don't do this" in the documentation.
2) Plug together FOSS software. It costs 0, unless they get a support contract. If something goes wrong, the support contract will be paying for people who probably helped write the software in question, and there's usually strong web support. Documentation can still vary from great to horrible. All those "hobbyists" etc mean the software is used on a variety of platforms, etc., and bugs are ironed out faster than most proprietary software.
Yeah IT guys will use FOSS and like it. It saves money, it's usually got better support (paid and free). And it's NOT putting them out of a job.
"Oh yeah, don't try that "the money is in the support" arguement (although it does help explain why Linux *needs* so much support). Why not simply pay the programmers for thier work, and leave the Amway marketing model alone!"
I don't think it explains why Linux "needs" so much support. Really.. And, like it or not, if you're trying to write up some custom app, it's MUCH faster to use some open source libs etc. than write EVERYTHING from scratch. Your paid programmers are going to use open source unless you forbid it, and if you do forbid it, it'll take them much longer to get their work done.
"Not on my desktop. It's not on the desktop of 99% of computing world, actually. And the rest are zealots and religious nuts who hate Microsoft so much they simply can't see how shitty and useless desktop Linux is."
There's free software on WAY WAY more than 1% of the computing world. Servers? Tons of Linux boxes. Macs are loaded up with free software. Even if they run Windows, a LOT of people have OpenOffice, or free CD burning software, 7zip, etc. I'm not going to get into Linux on the desktop, I think it's used a lot but I don't have hard numbers. I don't like to call people out but I'm going to say you are a Wintard. A nice Linux distro is faster, easier to use, more flexible, and all around better than Windows (XP, let alone Vista!), unless you REALLY spend all day running Windows-specific apps (I did a little IT at an insurance co, I would FOR SURE not suggest Linux for them, that'd be freetarded... they ran a different Windows (or a few DOS!) app for every insurance co they dealt with.)
And, people hate Microsoft because they are a convicted monopolist. For *years* they have pushed companies into shipping ONLY Windows machines*, tried to force businesses and schools into some $X/computer site license (flat rate, including Macs, so they could say they sold Windows licenses to machines that can't even run Windows...).. pulled plenty of dirty tricks to drive competitors out of business.
*Usual techinque was "You pay $X a machine for *all* computers shipped. Oh, you plan to ship a lot of blank or other OS machines? Well, we might have to renegotiate, that $X rate might have to go up a lot."
I think it's great that Shuttlesworth is spending cash on Ubuntu. Debian has always been pretty nice, and he's helping make it a better desktop and an easier to admin server. He's NOT throwing money away, Microsoft certainly spent some cash on Windows and Office. I think with the economic downturn, distros like Ubuntu will pick up in popularity as some people realize they can save licensing fees, and take advantage of Linux's efficience. They can put off upgrades a bit, and for clusters and large servers, get the same done with somewhat less server. (And, for machines that power save well, save power too.)