Clarification is needed here .. M$ stole the idea of a network environment from unix :-). In my experience, Unix does this much better. Most modern unices are ready to go on the network. Then you got X ... the client/server Gui Framework... nfs + nis+/LDAP etc == better roaming "profiles" than you can get by _default_ with windows. Considering aplications (console adn gui) can also be launced off of the network you can truely go from workstation to workstation and have all your tools available.
Personally I haven't been a "users" admin. Most of my roles have been supporting production systems running web systemsn and not supporting 1000's of developers. I have settup test labs, adn smaller workgroup centralized environments with NFS as well as callcenter/NOC setups. In these setups users had controll of thier systems, but all the "standard" tools were available. So if someone needed to use some other application they could, but if someone else logged in they had access to all the "standard" things they wanted. ( vim emacs etc.. ) When IT needed to update somthing it was done on one or 2 servers ( backup server ) and that was that.. .
On the flip side.. When I am not an admin and I got a workstation where i can't do what i need. I simply rebuild _MY_ desktop.. Typically with some free unix ...
think that's about $0.02 worth of MHO :-P
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