My response to a question on a Yahoo newsgroup:
Do YOU see Linux making a big impact on the desktop?
I certainly do. Microsoft relies entirely on the OEMs to survive. In addition, Microsoft's licensing has totally prevented OEMs from differentiating themselves in any way other than price - making their margins horrible. OEMs want to get out and Linux is the best way. The problem is who will be the first to jump. Wal-Mart may well set the standard here and cause a windfall. Remember - Wal-Mart can afford to sell cheaper than ANY other.
On the business front, the value proposition of Linux on the desktop is real and credible. In fact, CIOs are going to be called to account for the places they AREN'T using open software very soon. The only real problem is that people underestimated the time scale required for this change to happen.
However, the first place the desktop revolution is going to happen is schools. This is happening right now all over the country. The early-adopters are starting all over the country. Microsoft has made the donated PCs running Windows essentially illegal - the only real option for donated PCs under Microsoft's new rules is running Linux. Using Linux in a terminal environment, you can do a computer lab with REALLY OLD donated PCs for $6,000 including server, cabling, etc that runs OpenOffice, Mozilla, and all the other wonderful open-source programs.
With Wine's derivatives being as good as they are now, schools can even use their existing software they have purchased.
I think of this in terms of chemistry - the potential energy here is magnanimus, however, it takes a lot of extra energy to start the reaction, unless there is a catalyst of some sort. It's just a simple amount of time before Linux has the buildup it needs to start the reaction.