What I find most interesting about this thread is the wide range of views. KP wants a server--I'm with him. DrJ would like something to handle his MS-centric,but necesary to work, apps, I'm with him too.
Oliver is working on DesktopBSD, an effort to make it a viable choice for the end user.
All of these are valid issues. KP's fears (which I share) Drj's wishes (which I also share--like it or not, unless you're more elite than I'll ever be you probably have to spend some time supporting Windows, so you need access to some of the programs--to walk users through the menus if nothing else.)
Hopefully, we'll never fragment the way Linux has. If you learn FreeBSD well, it's a moderately small adjustment moving to Net or Open. If you learn RH really well, you have to learn a whole new set of things for Gentoo. (I remember someone saying that they gave up on Gentoo because they felt they were spending all their time learning about Gentoo and none of it learning about Linux.)
As for me--like KP, I don't want to see it get overloaded--I'd rather see Desktop and/or PCBSD do that.
Conversely, it would be nice for Just Works (TM) flash, java, a binary for OpenOffice and binary upgrades that work as well as ArchLinux's do most of the time, regardless of whether I'm running CURRENT, STABLE or RELEASE. (Colin Percival's freebsd-update still only works for RELEASE).
So, my wishes, to add to my first post here, about seamless binary upgrades would also be to echo Drj's wish for a truly good MS emulator. (And a Mac one while I'm at it, my wife, of course, is my most demanding user. "No wonder we have no money. You do computers for a living and you can't fix this problem" Stupid Mac.
Qemu is adequate for my needs, (though probably not DrJ's which are far more demanding.) However, in almost every company there will be one or two mission critical apps that require MS, or at best, Mac.
For my users, OpenOffice might actually be a viable alternative, save for the lack of Outlook. Many of them swear Outlook is the best till they break it.
However, very few of them are Word or Excel meisters, and only need basic document and spreadsheet functionality. As Drj has said, like it or not, Office is the de facto standard.
I do find it interesting that even MS, supposedly the O/S for the masses, finds it necessary to have so many different versions of Vista. We can scoff and say, oh, just a way for them to make more money, but it's also a realization that as computer use has increased so drastically, the needs of different groups have also gone many different ways.
<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid