"There are at least a couple of things that would need to happen in theory
before Linux can have a meaningful chance on the desktop:"
"a) There should be commercial desktop software development for it."
I think you must have meant "There should be MORE..." as there is
commercial desktop software development going on, which many probably do
not see because they are just using the package manager that their OS gives
them. Here in Chicago, AutoDesk is supposedly working on some of this
commercial software development for Linux.
"b) Hardware manufacturers should develop and supply Linux drivers"
Once again, I think you must have meant "There should be more hardware
manufacturers developing and supplying Linux drivers." Since the major
manufacturers are starting to do so. AMD/ATI, NVIDIA, and Intel are just a
few that come to mind right now.
I feel there is a chance for an eventual mainstream adoption of Linux. For
example, not even 2 years ago, I would walk into any of my computer places
around here and not find one person who even knew what Linux was. Today I
can walk into these same stores and not only find a person who digs my
Ubuntu hat, my Fedora t-shirt, or my openSUSE t-shirt, and knows what it
is. Oh, and these same stores are now caring at least one machine that is
running either Ubuntu, SUSE, or some other Linux distro. Frys, Tiger
Direct/CompUSA, Best Buy (they have some netbook with Linux on it, can't
remember which one it was and they also sell Ubuntu there, though I think
all 4 boxes are still on the shelf that were there earlier this year).
Now if we could only get some real marketing folks behind the Linux desktop
movement. Also some more commercial sponsors of a Linux desktop wouldn't
hurt either, like Google for instance :)