Re: The year of the Linux desktop..
Back around 1990, I was informed that 'this would be the year of Unix'...
...and in 1991,1992...in fact what happened was that over a period of 25 years, first Unix, then Linux, has very slowly, simply become the de facto operating system kernel for almost everything (except for Windows).
Because it offered lower costs to hardware and software developers.
There's a lot about Unix and Linux that is not optimal - X windows is perhaps the greatest abortion along with Postscript, that has ever been foisted on an undeserving community, but at least they are open standards.
As is TCP/IP and so on. In the end open standards work, because they make the barrier to entry of any proprietary system massive. Only Windows that was first on the scene, by a massive and unpleasant use of de facto monopoly has managed to protect its shrinking user base.
If it were worth anyone's while, a reverse engineered shim on top of Linux that did more than wine does, to enable Windows programs to tun more or less natively in Linux, would have been written. Already many new apps are using cross platform toolkits that mean that programs for OSX Windows and Linux are available. Eventually mainstream paid for apps will be ported one way or the other.