I've seen the future... And it's Linux shaped!
Written by STDIO.H
If you are not already aware, Linux is a type of operating system that takes a very similar format to the UNIX environment invented in the late '70s for Mainframes, etc.
Since the birth of the Microcomputer about 13 years ago, Microsoft has claimed the operating system market as their own and by originally designing and releasing high quality products at very cheap prices. (MS-DOS was far greater than any other OS in its time and was bundled 'free' with every IBM PC!) However, now there is no competition as such, Microsoft has become slacker with its OS's. Windows takes up far more resources than a simple 2D program with a bit of multi-tasking should do. And it is hideously slow.
Linux was a hobbyist's thing. Nerds and coders conspired together to create the dream operating system to fit everyone's needs. All very well, except now it seems to be working. The OS itself is very reliable and fast and with only a small adjustment could be friendly enough for the mass market. The recent developments of KDE/CDE, which bring the user-friendliness of Windows to Linux, and WINE (Wine Is Not and Emulator), which allows the running of Windows programs under Linux, are the killer applications which I think are going to bring Linux to the mass market. Imagine, an OS that runs all your old programs, which doesn't crash, is free to get hold of and is just as user-friendly as Windows....
Many large companies have seen Linux's potential. Corel have put some full time coders onto the WINE project, and Dell and Gateway computers are also considering distributing Linux with their PCs if demand is high enough.
I don't wish for Bill Gates and Microsoft to burn in Hell as many Linux users do, I think that Microsoft just needs an incentive to create top quality programs again, like they used to. Linux is that incentive, and in the next 5 years, there is going to be a radical change in computing as we see it now...