"...In addition to all the benefits and possibilities
mentioned earlier, Linux gave this company a bargaining chip in
license negotiations with Microsoft. Earlier, they had passed on
the Windows 2000 and Office 2000 upgrades, waiting instead to see
what the future held after the evaluation. When the move to XP was
being touted by Microsoft during subsequent meetings, they found
that they were faced with some surprises. The proposed fee
structure was radically different and established what amounted to
a cost penalty for those who chose to stand pat instead of
upgrading their operating systems and office suites to XP versions
upon their initial release.
Currently, they had a large mix of Windows 9x and NT 4.x clients
successfully running Office 97 software on laptops and desktops.
They had stayed on top of bug fixes and system patches and found
that for the most part, their existing infrastructure performed
well enough as it was. They had maintained their NT 4.x Server
infrastructure as well, opting not to move to Active Directory.
During this difficult time, Red Hat had proven to be a helpful
ally. Instead of trying to push a whole-scale replacement of the
infrastructure, they had worked to supplement it. Over time Linux
brought more security, improved load balancing and an overall
reduction in the growth rate of IT spending. Point of sale
terminals were reliable, easy to manage and did not incur
additional transaction costs. Their remote access and VPN
configurations handled an ever increasing load with a higher degree
of reliability and a lower cost. Their intranet had been
transitioned over to Linux, and as a result cost less to maintain.
It also eliminated interference with IIS based consumer and vendor
systems accessed from outside of the company."