Well, so much for saving money using Microsoft versus Novell. :-)
If ALL we wanted to do was apples-to-apples functionality, and had no needs for the more advanced (and to us, compelling) SharePoint features, we'd probably be able to do more for about the same spend.
But we DO need those Enterprise features, and that means the E-CAL suite. And that means we're definitely spending more than we used to.
What a lot of antagonists of Microsoft don't understand, for all their yelling and fear-mongering, is that the money you need to run Microsoft products is still barely a blip for big companies.
Novell then, as victims of their own success, have relegated themselves to the small-business/school/government niches where they've always done well - places where price trumps value.
Where companies make decisions based on value - not just price - Microsoft wins, hands down. Even if it's more expensive than Novell, it's still cheap. I can run our enterprise on about $70,000 worth of Novell licensing a year, including their pathetic excuse for phone support. Our Microsoft bill is likely to be around 4 times that, but that includes Office Pro Plus, and the entire E-CAL suite. Compare that to what a company spends per-head on enterprise systems like Oracle, etc., and it's a drop in the bucket. More people will get more productivity and efficiency out of MS products at that price than they ever will from their ERP system.
Anyway, we're looking forward to getting up to speed on the MS technologies - we're having in-house training performed, tailored to our specs and individuals, by an MS certified education partner. Other organizations here in town have done the same with this company, and have been very pleased.
If only Dell would release their E-Series laptop, we could really get moving with this effort.