re: Why Are We Still Buying Desktop OSes, Anyway?
Sadly, Linux is not really an operating system, in that binary shipped software is not compatible across different systems that use the Linux kernel. This means it's not an alternative to Windows even if we wanted it to be. Linux is an embedded system, mostly used to build server-appliances that serve webpages, but also used to create a fractured list of desktop operating systems such as "Ubuntu 11", "Ubuntu 12", "ChromeOS" and "Android"...
These all use Linux, but binaries compiled for them are not compatible with each-other. This unfortunately makes any of them a very fractured and difficult market to support 3rd party applications within.
Application sandboxing makes these systems dramtically less vulnerable to viruses, malware, and abusive software. "Regular consumers" can uninstall a piece of software from a mobile device and be assured it's totally gone, something that is not true on legacy desktops like Windows and MacOS. This is where we need to be headed, and the fact that Windows8 focused on desktop/touch UI integration instead of sandboxing is a big mis-step.
Even Mountain Lion made a baby step towards "consumerization"; by introducing a preference defaulting application installs to restricted signed apps. This isn't going far enough, but it's going futher than windows8. The next truly successful x86 desktop operating system will embrace consumerization and sandboxing. Will it be Android-x86? iOS-for-desktops? or WIndowws-14? Who knows, but it will happen.