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I saw a very short post on Tectonic.co.za stating that: "Linux will never rule the desktop, and here's why: If you draw a line giving the rate at which Linux is taking over the desktop you'll see it'll take several years from now to become the biggest operating system on desktops. This is never going to happen, because the desktop as it is will die long before we reach this point. The good thing is Microsoft will probably die with it!"
I would like to respectfully disagree. On the point of "the desktop" dying - a taxonomy discussion about desktop and dead would be required. I do believe it's obvious based on today's trends that computing will migrate to smaller hand-held devices, and make better use of interconnectivity to other devices and large compute farms (aka. "the cloud"). I suspect the interface might change to one day in the distant future to be voice or thought controlled. Is the desktop dead in this scenario, or has it simply evolved?
However, as economics surrounding the desktop shift, it becomes increasingly difficult for any traditional closed source vendor to compete in commodity markets with mature and vibrant open source. Thus I wouldn't say never for Linux growing signifcantly in market share. If Microsoft were to more strictly protect against piracy, most likely Linux desktop share would jump 10 to 20 percent very quickly. For many people today, Windows falsely appears to be free based on piracy or OEM deals.
With their massive hoard of cash, and immense ecosystem - it would be naïve to expect Microsoft to die anytime soon. Despite their many flaws, there are many people who's livelihoods depend on Microsoft. To expect them to up and change requires some significant motivation that I'm not sure exists yet. Microsoft is also a moving target with many smart people working there. They will no doubt change and adapt as they always have... to the Internet/Web, to online video, to add business applications and content management. Some ventures will be not so successful, others will work out fine.