| Where I work, we are in the process of rolling out Microsoft’s fancy new whiz-band Active Directory system. The most important part of that is automated software installs: we put each machine in a container, define what software that container gets, and reboot the machine: it uses InstallShield packages, and *poof* all is well.
Seems to me that Debian already has that…apt, baby!
Not to mention, because of kpackage and so on, it’s quite possible for a well-organized corporate IT department to do complete system upgrades to the most recent packages (including recent kernels and corp-specific packages [both free and non-free]) without any pain at all. -> Just add apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade to the startup scripts, and make sure to set the apt-source as a corporate-defined one that mostly mirrors, say, Woody.
Cost for this system? Less than Active Directory? Functionality of this system? More than Active Directory.
There: I’ve convinced myself that Debian is perfect for the corporate end-user, not just the corporate server. Cool!