Ernie Ball, a company that makes guitar strings, switched to using Linux three years ago after the Business Software Alliance publically embarrassed the company to promote software sales for Microsoft. At the time, Sterling Ball, who took over management of the company from his father Ernie Ball, vowed he would never use Microsoft again and made the transistion to Linux. He now admits that the decision was based on emotions at the time, but three years on he can't thank Microsoft enough for encouraging his company to use Linux.
CNET has an interesting interview with Sterling Ball in which Sterling gives some background on why they switched and why the decision has been so beneficial for his company.
How has the transition gone?
It's the funniest thing--we're using it for e-mail client/server, spreadsheets and word processing. It's like working in Windows. One of the analysts said it costs $1,250 per person to change over to open source. It wasn't anywhere near that for us. I'm reluctant to give actual numbers. I can give any number I want to support my position, and so can the other guy. But I'll tell you, I'm not paying any per-seat license. I'm not buying any new computers. When we need something, we have white box systems we put together ourselves. It doesn't need to be much of a system for most of what we do.