Re: Linux on the desktop debates
"Visio I *personally* have not found a *decent* replacement for - but that may again be a learning curve and *I* may be being stubborn."
No, there's no good substitute. There are a few SaaS apps that are browser delivered that are getting close, however, they are likely still a year or two away from "good enough".
"linux sucks as a desktop"
Quite right. But then, so does Windows 8, and Windows 10 isn't really all that great either. The real issue is "are the apps i need available?" Right now, the answer for most SMBs exploring Linux is - surprisingly - "yes". Enterprises will not get the same answer to that question.
Fast forward a few years. X11 will have been replaced by Weyland/Weston in production and available as a first class display system in enterprise Linux environments. This will have FreeRDP server baked right in to the display layer, offering full remote access as good as anything Microsoft delivers.
The Gnome team have - after years of acrimony - found their own asses, KDE shows faint hopes of maybe one day being able to find theirs, XFCE has seen a surge of development and both Mate and Cinnamon have exploded in uptake and development.
Red Hat is pouring muchos money into making sure that if your application runs on Windows it will run on Red Hat. You'll be able to make your Linux behave however you want. Application developers are increasingly embracing OSX and/or Android, both of which make the jump to Linux trivial.
Perhaps most critically, Microsoft doesn't really seem all that interested in making a desktop environments that's actually good anymore, they're only interested in making one that is passable enough that enterprises might consider migrating.
So just as Windows 7 is about to turn into a pumpkin Linux looks set to have it's shit together. Will Microsoft?
Today, Microsoft is the dominant player, but they have nowhere to go but down. Linux's adoption is so low any upward gain at all is a victory.
So, as you say, "right tool for the job at hand". And if you've two tools to hand, both capable, pick the one that costs less and you can trust more. It's up to you, the customer, to decide which that is for any given workload.