Had a one hour meeting with the boss and another "senior" programmer (our company's not really old enough to call anyone senior) about using Linux and an application called pen for load balancing. The quick summary is, "We'd rather spend an extra two grand per server in the farm to purchase Windows software that does the same thing. (I realize NLB does quite a bit more than pen, but not in our use. We need to preserve state, and will need "single affinity", which, long story short, makes true load balancing like you'd want at, say, a site like Amazon.com pretty difficult.)

Linux sometimes doesn't go over well in a system where not to spend is to lose funding the following year (depending on how cash-strapped your agency is), so I particularly enjoyed some of the comments from Slashdot's "Open Source In Government" thread.

My favorite quote is probably this one:
Who's going to bribe politicans to get the government to use [open source software, eg Linux]? The tone of these articles suggest that the government would use it because it is better. Perhaps the author is trying to be funny.

Much as I hate to say it, that's often how it feels around here. The strange part is that I know we're not consciously choosing Microsoft because MS has "courted" us or given us a good marketing pitch. Makes me wonder how much of our decisions are based on the biases of the individuals that work here (which would be fine; we're all biased), or if there's a real "trickle-down" culture that prefers the beast.