"At some point H/W manufacturers may either move to Chromebooks or the like or get together to fund development of an alternative OS, maybe based on Linux, BSD or possibly ReactOS which they can control."
I've been hoping for this for YEARS, and netbooks had a shot at this [too bad they were way too tiny and underpowered to make any usability sense for most people]. The downside is that it would take a significant MARKETING EFFORT to put all of the necessary pieces together.
1. Improve user-perception of Linux so they know that it does everything their windows boxen do [basically going against Micro-shaft's FUD campaign over the last 15+ years]
2. Get major software vendors on-board to make Linux versions [or convince people to use the open source versions, like Libre Office vs Micro-shaft Office]
3. Eliminate any 'WinTax' effects and allow vendors to DISCOUNT Linux boxen accordingly, competing directly with Win-10-nic on new boxen, minus the OEM license cost. This may require politicians be confronted [with clue-bats?] to change anti-trust legislation and/or investigate Micro-shaft's 'WinTax' under anti-racketeering laws.
That would be a good start...