2012 likely will be the year that M$ gives away use of its OS generally. In 2011, that other OS will lose major share in the ARMed world and ARM will invade the Wintel domain by the end of 2011 in desktops, notebooks, netbooks and servers. In 2012, M$ will have to give away licences to its OS in all these areas.
There will be a few niches remaining. The rich will still be glad to pay a lot for an expensive OS. Some businesses and professionals who make enough money in one day to pay for all their IT for a year even with M$ getting its tax will be glad they don’t have to exert any effort to change. But everyone else will have the choice, know they have the choice and make the choice for Free Software. That will derail the Wintel monopoly forever in 2012. Don’t worry about M$. They can diversify, cut margins and layoff staff just like other businesses. Don’t worry about Intel. They can diversify, cut margins and layoff staff just like other businesses but neither will be able to count on positive cash-flow just because they exist.
No amount of advertising, FUD, bribery or corruption will keep the Wintel monopoly strong after 2012. M$, Intel and their “partners” will have to earn a living the old-fashioned way, by working for a living.