Re: "Can you survive without support?"
It's about being able to actually get some help from Microsoft when it all goes pear-shaped.
Support is a good thing to have ... when it is actually good support. In my experience:
- IBM Support: Send Business Partner to fix. If it requires more people, IBM sends 'em.
- Sun Support: Send BP to fix. If issue not solved after X time, send local Sun engineer. If it still hasn't been fixed, fly in someone from Silicon Valley that will fix it.
- Microsoft Support: Get sent to some Indian dude who will ask for logs and stuff, then answer 5 days later "don't know what happened!"
Want support? Go UNIX. Or Linux. Or even BSD and have your IT department fix stuff up by themselves!