I've been using Linux on the desktop for almost eleven years now. I enjoy it. I understand it. I'm not likely to ever leave it. I also know that I'm in a niche market. There were predictions that each year would be the "Year of Linux" and we all know where that led.
Then came the release of Vista, and the dogs started drooling. Here was the MS misstep that Free software needed to get into the game. There was some movement. We've probably seen a growth of the world user-base to about 3%.
Then came netbooks, and the future looked bright. MS didn't have anything to compete and had to extend its seven year old OS (XP) so that there was an MS offering to put on these smaller machines. Vista won't work. Not by a long shot. Victory was declared by Linuxites around the globe.
Unfortunately, Asus has announced that it's cancelling sub-10" netbooks and will offer Windows XP as the default option starting next year. (Is it just me, or does a $600, 10" netbook kind of defeat the purpose of the form factor?)
The final nail in the coffin may be Windows 7. It's lighter than Vista. Not only does it work in 512MB RAM, it's incredibly snappy. It's probably faster than XP SP3, given that Vista SP1 and XP SP3 benchmark about the same now (Since Diggers don't believe this one, see and 2). It's also pre-beta, meaning it hasn't even optimized yet. MS probably has a comeback happening in Windows 7.
Let's be serious. Netbooks are almost all shipping with 1GB RAM right now. By the time Windows 7 ships, 2GB will probably be standard. Windows 7 will probably be modular and light enough to run on phones available at that time, too.
As long as Windows 7 isn't over-priced, Any Linux-on-the-desktop movement is going to die by 2010. I'll probably still be using it, though. You can pry my freedom from my cold, dead fingers.
p.s. Halloween parties killed my weekend work, so I'll have to wait till next week to put up he TV server HowTo. Apologies.