All true, but do you remember when IBM was the big one?, Lotus? Word Perfect? All of them were giants once.
Ummm, IBM is still a giant. Maybe bigger than ever. It's just not bothering with the desktop PC market (as well as hard drives, laptops, printers, etc.). WordPerfect made many missteps getting into the Windows market and couldn't recover. I've heard that Lotus was too complacent in thinking that nothing could ever displace 1-2-3. Meanwhile, Excel surpassed it in features and it never recovered.
Mac is growing? That probes linux can do it too, since both OS are pretty similar.
It's not on the strength of the OS. The success of the iPod gave a big boost to Apple and the Mac. Plus Apple spends huge amounts of money on clever and effective advertising. When was the last time you saw an ad for Linux? How could there be an ad for "Linux" anyway, since in a sense there is no such thing. Linux is the kernel; GNU/Linux is the kernel plus certain shells and utilities. The many diverse distros are how the consumer relates to "Linux." Windows and Mac are single products. Linux has no single product, and I can't imagine RedHat, SuSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Slackware, and Debian running a series of joint commercials saying "Get one of our products, or any of the hundreds of others."
The Mac's success has a lot to do with the physical design of the products--the "coolness" factor. Apple has always insisted on maintaining control over what the Mac operating system runs on. That means everything "just works." It's designed that way, and that's what can happen when you maintain top-to-bottom control. Another advantage the Mac has is that you can walk into a store, buy one, take it home, plug it in, and you're good to go. It's pretty difficult to find a Linux computer in a mass market retail store.
About sound and wireless, please, we all now the cause of that problem, we all know is not linux fault. If they can offer a Mac driver, a linux one is easy, they dont want to do it, or ms is pushing them to not do it.
Of course it's not Linux's fault. However, that won't impress the "ordinary users" who still have to get wireless working. They don't care whose fault it is that they can't make the connection, they just want it to work--and not after spending a week on Google looking for a solution.
All I can say is time will tell. It will be interesting to see if Linux penetrates farther into the mainstream desktop withiin five years. But then, in five years the desktop computer may be much less important than it is today, as Web 2.0 and software as a service grow as predicted.