Linux will lose * a unique approach*
My statements are generalities. This I say now, becuase I feel we are totally "missing the band wagon" on the issue. The reason they are `generalities' becuase they are based off of the very thing I have yet to see the Linux community touch on. Psychology... And with dealing with psychology everything is statistics, and theory. These generalities I may touch can be a derivative of "... for all practical purposes ..."
The Linux community contains alot of `intelligent' users, or perhaps at least users with a lack of fear of the unknown. Whatever the reason you run Linux is beside the point, rebellion, adventure, curiosity, or you happen to know enough to find it more practical for what you want to do. The problem has very little to do with technology. Being of average knowledge of technological history, I remember many things that were paradox to what we tech geeks would have thought otherwise. Apple fell to PC, Coleco fell to Atari, Sega fell to Nintendo. I am not going to go into details of these company battles, we should know about them already.
Hell, in the 80's Cyndi Lauper or Madonna? Who would've thought Modanna would still be around? Anyway, what happened is a play of "business to consumer" tactics. Sega fired up development for a handheld 16bit full color game machine, while Nintendo pulled the lets play with the theory that most people are stupid. Who won? Only years later did you have an option for a color GameBoy. What? You don't agree? Perhaps popularity? Fear of not fitting in? All of the basic things most people FEAR. And Nintendo played on that. How a company gets into the position to use these tactics are business purely, however there are very few rules that one has to abide by once there.
Microsoft will win for the fact that people are human. Linux is not known to the average person. My cousin bought a Hewlitt Packard computer in 97, and it still has the store sticker on it, Win95 hasn't been upgraded. Why? Becuase my cousin isn't a geek, and doesn't want to "mess" with her/his computer. Geek isn't defined as a person who "mess's" with their computer, BUT you see what we have to deal with? If it never dawns on her/him to even so much as to upgrade the OS on the computer, then how are we gonna win a battle of persuasion for the sake of Linux, when Microsoft is the only thing they recognize? Just like when you were a child, you didn't want to were clothes that your friends weren't wearing. No matter how compatable an idea is,, its still a Zirconium diamond, and not the real deal. A pair of Dickies vs. Nikes. A Pinto vs. Porsche. A adobe vs. a cathedral. How are you going to get a "vain" person into a pair of Dickies? You would obviously have to trick him/her.
Linux will gain ground in high end arena, not really known arena, server stuff, development stuff, etc. If Microsoft wants to demolish Linux they can. But I don't think they will, just like I don't think Linux as we know it today will ever become worthy for home use. And home use is where Microsoft really stormed through the country-side. And with that kinda 'market cap' gained from the popularity of "average" people ..... they are the most powerful software company in the world.
Imagine that kiddies, 1,000,000 dollars from every "smart" person?
or ONE dollar from half of all the "average" folk?