What is the true cost?
I am always a bit skeptical when I read articles like this. Yes ... it's all marketing speak. How can anyone know until they actually experience the migration/upgrade process? I'm not being "pro-Vista", nor "anti-Linux" ... I'm working to be "pro-realistic". I believe that there are multiple points that Jack is not addressing here.
First, I am curious about the "in-place" migration to Vista, vs. the "in-place" migration to Linux? Is there even an "in-place" migration to Linux? I have to admit that I have not looked into this in detail, however I can almost promise you that we will see an in-place migration tool, that will allow any user or company to migrate to Vista with minimal (yes - minimal!) pain. Will there be some problems? Of course. But lets now compare that to a migration to Linux from Windows. Could I go to a Windows user, and perform a clean "in-place" migration, and have them productive when it completes? I have my doubts here.
Second, I have to admit that hardware evolution is against Jack and Novell. As people upgrade hardware - which they will - they are going to get that Windows Vista license, instead of the older Windows XP license ... and they will migrate. And it will be almost painless. The cost of the "upgrade" of the OS will be hidden in the cost of the new hardware.
To me, the mentality is still all wrong. To continue to fight against something only continues to strengthen it. Even Novell employees heard the old saying "embrace, extend, extinguish". Its all about creating more powerful abstractions ... there is much more value in Mono, then Linux ... IMHO. There is much more value in the applications then the OS. There is even more value in the services hosted in the Internet ... enabling the use of the Internet Platform for business.
To fight these fights, and make these claims, is just old school thinking and behavior. Microsoft knows this, and the real Open Source community knows this.
Novell: Vista will drive users to Linux. Jack Messman claims that the cost of moving to Windows Vista will prompt users to consider moving to desktop Linux. [CNET News.com]