There's no doubt that supporting a mixed environment is challenging but to be honest I don't think it's very realistic for MS to solve that problem although they could make it easire for someone else to solve the issue by offering up some of the details
of there OS.
From a remote administration standpoint outside of 3rd party tools you will naturally have to use MS tools but in my previous life as a network/server admin I was pretty happy with the ones MS provided me.
- For windows server 2000/2003 you got the administrative terminal server that works out great (VNC for NT 4.0 uggg lol). Additionally if you got any XP clients they have the remote assistant is great.
- SMS for remote helpdesk (remote control), software distribution, software metering, and hardware/software inventory. Albeit this service is expensive if you need these tools it's usually because you're in an enterprise environment with an enterprise budget.(we used SMS 1.2 yuck.. 2.0 is better and they've got a new one in beta I think)
- There are windows command line admin tools. Can't remember them off the top of my head (I'm a gui person) but I know they are there.
- Many admin functions are an MMC plugin which allows you to administer multiple functions for multiple PCs and Servers from one application/place.
They're definatly not perfect solutions but they are good ones. It would be nice to have some universal standards that would would work across differents OSs and hopefully we'll see that some day but for the time being if you want that you'll have to shell out big $$ for 3rd party tools
As for bundling all of it's tools together, with todays climate and all the law suits going on I think MS has to be very carefull about bundling too much functionality in one nice package or they'll get slapped with another suit and next thing you know they'll be sued for making too many good tools and puting the 3rd party management tool makers out of business..... trully though how hard is it to download something like unix services and install it if you want it
On a somewhat side note when you do have an environment that has a high degree of remote administrative tools, especially at the desktop level, but also the servers, it greatly increases your security threat profile and required diligence and efforts to keep them all patched up and locked down so there is a price that comes with convenience
As for NFS(Network File System??) wasn't that originally developed by sun? maybe with Sun/MS burying the hatchet a little bit you may see this in the near future.
I do agree with your argument that them opening up a little more would be beneficial to everyone and could possibly make a network/server admin's life a little easier but I'm personally pretty happy with the tools we got today but I'll still be looking forward to seeing some improvements.
There's no doubt that supporting a mixed environment is challenging but to be honest I don't think it's very realistic for MS to solve that problem although they could make it easire for someone else to solve the issue by offering up some of the details of there OS.