My problem with the statistics is that the site doesn't explain what they're measuring and how they do it. Is it the OS that's identified when a browser visits a Web site? Is it some sales thing? I suppose if I were familiar with netapplications.com I'd understand what the statistics are supposed to show, but with no explanation on the marketshare pages, whatever I think I understand is likely to be wrong.
As for BlueMage's surprise at Win 98's persistence, if these statistics are based on general users, not just businesses, there are lots of general users who haven't upgraded their computers because they don't feel the need. Computers of the Win 98 era are not likely to run XP well--or at all--and for Vista, forget it! Also, very few "regular users" upgrade their operating system. That's a geek thing. They use what came on their computer until they get a new computer.
It's true that 1% of computers is a large number, but the percentage is too small to make it worthwhile for hardware and software makers to take account of Linux if it's going to cost them money.
I see a real opportunity for us to go more mainstream if the new low-cost computers like the Acer eee and Everex gPC sold at Walmart, which run on Linux, take off. So far they're getting noticed and getting favorable press. If they actually sell well, I'd expect demand for more hardware support for Linux to go up.