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  I think that the consensus view, that NT's ease of use adds great value
  and is a main competitive advantage, is not arguable.  Mainline UNIX
  (Sun, IBM, Dec, etc) has a great deal to learn from the success of NT,
  in this area.  (Sun and various Linux developers are working to address
  that limitation, in a variety of ways, but it isn't an easy task.  I'd
  call this, learning from the competition.)  
  That said, 
  	* UNIX is not harder to use for everyone, or for all purposes.
  >From the perspective of many programmers (myself 	obviously
  included), it is much easier to use, at every level (shell, 3gl,
  system), than NT.  Scientific and numerical
  	programming--including that used in large-scale financial
  applications--is simply an annoyance, in my experience,
  	on anything but UNIX.
  	* My experience with www applications was, that the applications
  actually developed for NT took nearly as long to write, 	and
  performed abysmally.  This I consider demoralizing and wasteful.
  	* The NeXt system--the basis of Apple's new "Rhapsody" OS--was
  hailed as offering "next generation" ease of use,
  	for developers and end users.  
  	* Ease of use is not a compelling factor in embedded markets.
  Microsoft's hopes to dominate embedded systems are
  	based on obvious strongarm tactics--such as buying a minority
  stake in US West, and compelling its developers to use 
  	Microsoft technology (if the NYT story cited by Claire Macdonald
  on this list is correct).
  	* NT administrators are not cheap.  With apologies to Charles,
  the web page of the "Association of NT System 	Professionals" currently
  features the following text summarizing part of the Microsoft Certified
  Professionals Salary 	Survey:
  			That caveat aside, there's little doubt that
  Microsoft Certified Professionals are in great demand, and the
  salaries shown here reflect that. The second annual MCP Magazine survey
  shows a significant jump in 			income across all titles
  from last year. MCSEs and MCSDs, for example, report an average salary
  between them of $73,550 -- well up from last year's average of $64,000
  (www.ntpro.org, 11/6/97)
  	Moreover, though it is certainly easier to find NT people, these
  people also tend to know much less about the systems 	they
  manage--they're "easier", you don't have to know internals, or
  programming.  (Some do, of course.)
  	* Although UNIX RISC hardware is still much more costly than
  Intel hardware, neither this cost difference, nor the relative
  	"support costs" should be an overriding factor ruling out UNIX
  purchases tout court.
  Pace my own forgoing tone, I have no interest in forcing UNIX on users
  and administrators who find it uncomfortable or, for whatever reason,
  costly to support.  NT is valuable.  I use it myself.
  On the other hand, I have a problem with attempts to claim that UNIX is
  costly and inefficient--in areas where, in fact, just the opposite is
  true.  Indeed, I am of the opinion that, if more systems professionals
  were willing to invest the time in learning UNIX and UNIX
  strategies--many of them applicable in NT environments!--many claims of
  NT cost savings would evaporate.
  Finally, I am of the opinion that--although by no means illegal,
  obviously--forcing a Micorsoft "corporate standard" on all the employees
  of your company is pointlessly authoritarian, and wasteful of resources.
  The assumtion that such hegemonic standardization is good or inevitable
  is monopoly's strongest ally.
  Matt Benjamin