jmgarvin, I was confused by your use of "techs" to refer to salespeople in the first use and information technology professionals in the second. I understand your point now, even if I disagree with you about the Linux skill of the average IT professional. Maybe I've led a sheltered career in a technological backwater, but I've never seen a Unix box and my Linux experience is limited to three distros (RH, Suse, and Knoppix), none of which I'm ran for over a couple of months. I wouldn't dare recommend one over the other. I suspect there are a large number of paid professionals who have spent most of their careers supporting Windows systems; I must count myself among them.
I think we can agree that Microsoft's marketing department is the main reason for their large installation base, whether it's truly the most popular or not. The average home user wants a box he can fire right up with minimal effort, and he is willing to pay a premium for this perceived convenience. Microsoft has done the best job of convincing consumers that a computer running their products will fulfill that desire. At work, as someone else noted, "Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft."
apotheon, thanks for the LUG link. Unfortunately, of the five groups in SC, two had web sites over three years old, two said they were trying to reorganize, and the only active group was over three hours away (and based at a university again). South Carolina isn't noted as a high-tech hot spot, and there appears to be a lack of professional interest here.
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