"Like I said, claiming "massive benefits" and other hand-waving is only convincing to the small minority that are already convinced."
Except that's not true. The majority of endpoints int he world are, in fact, running a Linux kernel in the form of Android. The majority of embedded systems are a Unix derivative. VXworks, Linux, WindRiver, or so forth. It is only the traditional desktop market that has been slow to change, but the change is occurring, no matter how adamantly you stamp your feet.
More and more businesses are convinced that the benefits of alternative desktop OSes are many. What's really interesting though is that I don't need Linux, or OSX, or anything else to be "the majority" operating system in a given niche in order to see value from it. I'm capable of doing objective and independent assessment of customer needs on a case by case basis and picking the best tool for the job.
Unlike you, I don't have an obsession with systems administration via what's most fashionable.
"No-one likes paying a fee for something, but the license fee is a pretty small component of the overall ownership/opportunity cost."
Few people mind paying a fee. The problem is that we're not talking about one-off fees anymore. Microsoft wants into you for subscriptions. Now that's fine in the USA where the economy is more or less stable and it makes perfect sense to bet your business on the fact that you'll always be able to pay your subscription fees to, well...fucking everything.
But the rest of the world isn't the USA. A significant chunk of the world is "boom and bust" economies with very few large enterprises. In these economies, dominated by SMBs, ownership of assets matters. Including digital ones. Front loading costs during a boom ensures you can survive the bust. It's a lesson hard learned, but one that billions of individuals in over a billion of the world's SMBs understand quite well. Microsoft is actively hostile to this model.
What's worse: you don't save money with Microsoft's "subscribe to everything, forever" model. Especially if you exist in an economic climate where there willinevitably be points where you need to sweat assets to survive.
What you don't ever seem able to grasp is that embracing Linux, OSX, BSD, Unix et. al is about more than trying to dodge some small fee. It's about having the flexibility to grow your business on your own terms...and to make it through rough patches without firing people. (Or by firing fewer people.)
You also make rediuclous false assertions that somehow switching to Linux - in whole or in part - will cost you more than simply submitting to Microsoft's demands. This isn't true. It hasn't been true for some time.
Larger organizations with more legacy cruft - Excel macros and plug-ins and so forth - may well have a high hurdle to jump. And I can only imagine that the process of moving a Fortune 500 or a government to Linux would be painful and expensive.
But IT isn't homogenous. Just because it's going to be an expensive, painful process in one area doesn't mean it will be in another. And, niche by niche, SMB by SMB, Linux absolutely will make inroads.
Horizon - and many of the open source alternatives that I know are emerging over the next 18 months - making Linux DaaS viable over WAN is a much bigger step towards this than you want to admit. It means that Linux desktops can be delivered by industry-specific MSPs, CSPs and VARs to their SMB customers. It offers a whole new model for application delivery and even the ability to provision entire desktops at prices that are far - far - more affordable than a Microsoft-based solution.
So we're not going to see a massive turnover tomorrow. But piece by piece we will see uptake. And the best part is that uptake will probably be innovative. Free of licensing restrictions, we may well see new models and new approaches emerge that simply aren't realistically feasible under a Microsoft regime, and they may exist alongside traditional Windows desktops.
And hell, why not? Windows on the physical endpoint because that's what available at PC-world, but push out the individual applications via browser SaaS, Linux DaaS or RDS as required. Reduce the RDS as much as humanly possible in order to cut costs and simplify delivery and eventually you're free of Microsoft.
Sure, maybe you have Windows endpoints, but if your application delivery is all over the wire they don't have to be Windows. They can be whatever the end user wants...they don't actually have any apps on the damned thing anyways.
Get run over by malware? Restore the endpoint back to it's clean slate and run your 5 days and 500 reboots worth of updates and you're good.
Just because things have always been one way does not mean they will continue to be. I fully agree that the biggest corporations and governments will be slow to change, simply because they are traditionally conservative organisations that take forever to embrace new technologies.
But SMBs won't be so reluctant. The midmarket absolutely will jump on this. More to the point, I have already started to see a lot of excited chatter about it and meetings are scheduled to plan POCs.
You can rail against the dying of the light all you want, but Microsoft does not own the future. Gods Christ man, even Microsoft themselves know that. That's why they're cranking out their applications for non-Microsoft operating systems now!
We get it. You love Microsoft. You will always love Microsoft. We've always been at war with Eastasia and you absolutely will have them do it to Julia. Do you want a golf clap or something?
The rest of the world is moving on. We will make use of new technologies and IT will diversify. The hegemony is broken. Cope.