Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Microsoft has long dominated the home desktop Operating System market while Unix and Unix-like systems have dominated the server and datacenter world. Have Microsoft's continuous product delays, removal of highly touted new features, addition of more intrusive DRM and the introduction of a highly restrictive EULA sealed Microsoft's fate?
Microsoft is facing increased competition from both sides - the datacenter and the desktop. Apple's OSX operating system has been slowly but steadily chipping away at Microsoft's desktop market share thanks, in part, to huge sales of iPods and other media software. Consumers are purchasing more non-Windows software and computer systems as more viable choices have been presented in the marketplace. Many Linux vendors have seen increase in sales to businesses for use on the corporate desktop environment and entire local governments have changed over to an all-Linux environment.
Competition isn't the only reason Microsoft has lost the desktop. With many people concerned with security and the consumer generally being more tech savvy, many people are turning away from the less secure Microsoft products. In all fairness, the upcoming Windows Vista does promise to be more secure, but how many times have we heard that from the folks in Redmond? Many consultants make a very comfortable living repairing PC's hopelessly infected with spyware, malware and viruses. A growing segment of the market is turning to Linux and Mac OSX for their desktop computing needs.