Re: good news about Microsoft?
"The only thing I'll really miss if MS where to fail would be AD, but it wouldn't be that great of a loss."
You should really check out Samba 4
We use 389 as backend. Flexible and robust, and handles everything we need. Sure, there are ways to make it work with SAMBA and pretend to be an AD controller, but the few Windows machines we have left are typically set up independent as user test - they get re-imaged on a weekly basis to keep testing clean.
As for "caring about Microsoft" - I don't. I care about delivering systems that work, and don't need daily changes to stay propped up. I worked for consultancies that saw Open Source as a plague, not because it would solve the clien't sproblem, but because it would solve the client's problem in full (read: no more sales). That's why they lead the Microsoft revolution, and it's also why it's so damn hard to get a company to even look at something else. The only thing they know is Windows, and few CTOs have the courage to look at alternatives, even if it would over time be more efficient. I've seen one London consultancy spend over £100k of internal labour on developing their website that would have been done much quicker by using an existing Open Source project and spend £10k on paying developers to tune it to their needs - that would have left £90k to build one hell of a launch party :). But no, it would have been politically unacceptable to prove that alternatives exist - in those days, there were making money hand over fist with selling Microsoft consulting to the New Labour government..
Yes, I appreciate that many make a living from the deficiencies in Microsoft software, like the entire anti-virus industry. However, that doesn't make it right that those deficiencies exist. Since Vista, MS discovered that people will even pay it to run what is at best beta quality software at Enterprise level, just to be able to crow to their golf buddies they're "advanced", leaving the plebs in IT to mop up the problems (and fire them if they can't). Windows 7 is about the first OS where things were slightly better, so that HAD to be nuked with something new - hence TIKFAM. MS sucks, and has for years. It's propped up by biased advise, market position abuse, lock-in and heavy marketing. It would be nice or companies if they eventually managed to live up to their own hype, but I cannot see innovation have any chance while Ballmer is in charge. He must go.
(and no, we won't switch back to Microsoft - it's nice to be free of eternal upgrades, provided we avoid anything made by Adobe).