An anonymous reader writes "The current software industry environment raises questions about the possibility of an alternative commercial desktop operating system for PCs.
Consumers seem to finally understand that they are responsible for market diversity, and that relying on government intervention will not improve the situation.
As evidence of this, consider the increasing adoption of standards based applications such as Firefox and OpenOffice.
Furthermore, frustration with draconian licensing models and protection environments has facilitated the emergence of DRM-free media.
Thanks to the attention given to web applications, the availability of small legacy utilities is not perceived to be the issue it once was.
Windows Vista is exuberantly priced, relying on an extortionary tiered licensing model that reeks of intentional crippling.
Macs are actually gaining market share.
Is hell freezing over?
Could a low priced, snappy, easy to use, commercially backed desktop operating system a la BEOS actually succeed?
I have the faint impression, that were BEOS released now rather than 6 years prior, it would be commercially viable.
(As a side note, we should celebrate Microsoft's efforts for preventing users from pirating Windows. If they are successful, the argument to force bundling on new PCs is questionable.)"