Here's a short interview with John Terpstra, one of the main developers of the Samba project, from LinuxWorld in San Francisco: LinuxWorld: Small vendors on right track with SMB focus
I've spoken with John on the phone before about some troublesome Samba installations, and agree completely with his assessment of the marketplace. He points out that only 16,500 businesses in North America employ more than 500 people, out of around 27.6 million businesses. From the article:
The problem is that everyone wants to be a star operating in the big-time star space. Smart businesses don't start off attempting to be stars, but have a clear vision that they have to appeal to the volume market with a pain point and dollars to spend relieving that pain. The SMB market today is screaming for an alternative to Microsoft, but as I speak to those companies, I keep getting the same complaint: 'We don't know how to solve our problems with Linux. It's too difficult to use. I can't get support. I don't know how to do it.' That is the big opportunity that Linux and open source providers are missing.