I cant see what so many people are getting so "huffy" about tbh
Yes it would be "nice" for Linux to be a real alternative to windows, but for the most part its not, ideology is "nice" when having a discussion or writing a novel, but the rest of the time reality is (or should be) king, and what "would" be nice is irrelevant, what can be done, what is practical and what makes sense aren't though
It would be "nice" to be able to fly unaided, but the sensible thing to do is to realise you can rather than jumping off of things over and over again and complaining when you merely plummet to the ground.
This is akin to a company deciding they didn't like the metric system, sticking with imperial measurements and threads and then complaining that every other company is incompatible with THEM
The reality is that despite decades of work Linux is "maybe" as user friendly as perhaps windows 98 for a non technical user as a desktop OS with the best distros and more like reverting to windows NT4 with the worst ones, and telling normal users they "should" expend hundreds of hours learning to become a Linux guru just to be able to update and maintain their Linux distro instead of using an almost self maintaining (most of the time) windows environment is just lunacy
Claiming that a council who has a duty of care to thousands, if not millions of people who are relying on their infrastructure working flawlessly and (where needed) being able to seamlessly exchange information with other government departments that they should stick with a restrictive environment which needs them to practically become software developers just to get basic functions to work makes lunacy seem almost sane by comparison
The problem here isn't Microsoft, the problem here isn't the council, the problem is Linux itself not being comparable to windows on a variety of levels combined with software developers not viewing Linux as a platform worthy of their applications being at parity with their windows offerings which lets face it is most probably due to the lack of demand which in turn is the fault of the Linux community itself for not making Linux a comparable choice to windows and THEN aggressively marketing it like Microsoft have
This whole topic gives me flashbacks to the Amiga dying. The OS was for the time excellent, far better than windows in many ways BUT, commodore decided to try and keep it as a niche market product with wallet gouging pricing for the bespoke hardware instead of porting it onto the much cheaper and far more X86 platform and just selling the OS
Before Linux can realistically compete with windows it needs to become as good as windows in terms of ease of use, automation, self maintenance and THEN with luck the shortfalls in software availability will, over time sort itself out IF Linux can be pushed effectively to end users
Until that happens Linux wont be a rounded choice for ANY decent enterprise which needs to have interoperability with other enterprises and no amount of trying to blame customers for wanting to purchase a fully rounded product rather than a fixer upper you have finish yourself will change a thing and Linux will remain a mainstream novelty that armchair anarchists and tech nerds use as an apathetic form of protest but which the mainstream totally ignores
If Linux distributors want companies and councils to use Linux instead of windows they HAVE to make it integrate fully WITH windows, run all the apps you CAN run on windows and without the end user having to create their own bespoke plug ins, patches and fixes just to get basic operations to work as that's not a good foundation for either a business nor a council to rely on
As for the cost issue, yes Microsoft shovel ware can be expensive, but its still setting the bar Linux doesn't reach yet.
think of it like a taste test, a nutrition bar that tastes worse and which needs you to add some of the basic ingredients AFTER you bought it will never compete with a finished product that tastes nice out of the box
It doesn't matter if the alternative is "slightly" more healthy, until its sold complete and tastes at least as good as competitor why would anyone choose to buy it?
And in this instance I notice people talking about the cost of buying the MS products but conveniently skipping around the cost in man hours, outtages and worst case potential law suits due to incompatibility with other organisations or software
Neither a council nor a business can afford to risk its core operations with an "almost" finished OS and patches, fixes and bodges they have to create themselves to get it to "almost" work as well as windows already does
But show them a product that does everything windows does right out of the box that is better, faster and cheaper and THEN people will consider using it, but give them a promising beta version and don't be surprised if they decide to stick with windows until the alternative is a finished product that is comparable in every way to windows