I hate to break it to you, but the MOBILE market is much, much larger than the PC market, and that's where app development is shifting to.
If you're just looking at PC users and observing that they use native non-web apps, you're kinda missing the point.
The traditional PC market is dying and becoming a niche.
Add up the software you don't need to buy on OS X to get shit done (to generate PDFs, interface with your camera, etc). and there's the cost difference. OS Upgrades are $20.
And multitouch trackpad just rocks.
The cost difference is there, but it's nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe and you get a lot more for the dollar. And no pre-installed nagware.
I say this as a command line user...
Command line: just because you can, doesn't mean you should have to.
Time spent sitting down to learn teh command line is wasted time the average user will never get back that they could be spending actually doing something on the computer they are trying to do.
Most people are nerds. If they want to just install an app, pointing and clicking is more work than they want to spend doing it. Dragging them into the command line when it can and should be simpler is just wasting their time.
Good for you. You're a minority, and becoming increasingly so. So am I. However: Take a look at Office 365, Google Office, iWork in the cloud, etc.
We aren't there yet, but I guarantee you that most business apps will be moving to web based stuff in coming years.
There are a much greater majority of users who use their PCs for: banking, shopping, chat, social networking and minor multimedia editing/sharing.
All of which is online.
Don't like web services? Doesn't matter so much - it's a lot harder for your to copy, and thus attractive to the developer. They're also cross-platform.
As computing power increases, apps have continually become developed in higher level languages and higher levels of abstraction, with fatter, more functional tookits. The web is just the next evolution of that.
Pretty much yeah. Yes, microsoft were a bit late to the internet party, but once they saw the explosion of the web the writing was on the wall.
Mobile has taken them by surprise, however and Windows 8 is a dog. Looks like Windows 8.1 is going to be a dog, too.
Microsoft foresaw (correctly) that eventually the OS would become irrelevant, and the web would become the platform. Control the majority of the web browser platform and you can control that market. Thus, focus on IE in an attempt to gain market share and thus, developers. Once the developers are focused on writing for IE, they are more likely to use other MS technologies on the server end to match.
This is exactly why we have a huge number of enterprises still screwing around with IE6.
I didn't mean the actual local user. I meant code running in the local user's security context, as in something you get a non-privileged user to run.
There are two levels of issue: root/system level compromise, and fucking with the end user's files.
Sure, the local user can own the box, that is no different in pretty much any mainstream OS including Linux, BSD, etc. unless it is running filesystem encryption.
The SR-71 was doing reconnaissance from 100,000 feet (i.e., ~33km up) in the 1960s. So probably yes.