[citation][nom]radnor[/nom]You are correct about linux. But i should add one thing. WINE.It is getting better every version that launches, but still needs a lot of love. Wine use should be simple and stealthy. That is, put a x86 windows cd, and wine detects and pulls out a auto run. You get the idea.when that happens Linux will check mate Win/OSX. Compiz/Fusion is already prettier than OSX (and with great promises) and the system is much safer. And faster.Lets wait and see.[/citation]
I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone will ever "checkmate" Mac. Mac will continue to enjoy the (roughly) 10% market share they've always had. WINE will not be the lynchpin that will take them down, either. Ever seen Parallels? It's what WINE should be. I should preface all of this by saying that I've run Ubuntu as a primary OS for several years. Before that, I was a FreeBSD user since way before version 4 came out (I think I've still got install media for 3.4 laying around here somewhere). I had a windows laptop that got taken from windows 95 through 98SE, and then another with XP. Now, I have to dual-boot to Windows occasionally to load iTunes and update the software on my iPod Touch, so I've run the gamut.
I am a HUGE fan of Linux, but here is the reason Linux will never make it on the desktop: third party driver support. Yes, I know, more and more companies are writing good Linux drivers. Both nVidia and AMD/ATI have the newest version of their drivers available for both Windows and Linux. That's not really the problem. This is: I've run Ubuntu 8.04 since launch day. It launched with kernel version 2.6.24-16. It made it to 2.6.24-21 before 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) was released. I run 2 third party drivers that require you to compile a kernel module FOR EACH NEW VERSION OF THE KERNEL that you install -- nVidia graphics, and vmware. New pre-compiled modules come down in updates, too, but they're always a couple versions behind, and I'm running version 2 of vmware (which isn't in Ubuntu repositories yet) for USB 2.0 support. If you've read this far, I commend you, but you're starting to understand my point. After I accepted the update from kernel 2.6.24-16 to -17, everything went fine, because I was using the Ubuntu-approved drivers, but the next kernel update that came down broke X and killed vmware, because I'd (horror of horrors) decided to run newer drivers for my stuff. Took all day to get everything running again (now I can do it in about an hour, as long as GCC doesn't start complaining).
So, to put it another way, downloading OS updates on the most used Linux distro out there can and will break your system, and this is BY DESIGN. A Linux-for-dummies distro like Ubuntu promises the flexibility of Windows and the stability and ease-of-use of Mac. If you want the ease-of-use, you end up locked into older versions of software - much like with Mac, except Mac keeps software in their distributions more up-to-date due to the narrower scope. If you want the flexibility, well then you end up Googling for half a day about an obscure bug with kernel version 2.6.24-21, GCC version 4.2.3, and the newest nVidia kernel module needing to be removed and re-inserted into the kernel before starting X (true story). Think your average Windows power-user could figure that out, without a functional GUI? I swear I almost formatted and installed Vista...
Like the article pointed out, Linux is making huge headway in the areas that it is the best choice for -- servers, embedded systems, and Live-CD type environments -- where the compliment of software is rigidly fixed by the designer, and updates are done in a very controlled fashion. But, for a living, changing system over a period of time, it's really a pain in the butt sometimes.