"A visit to any computer store will show that there is a whole range of applications that are still absent...."
True. But you should better distinguish the business and home desktop market. For example, everything you mentioned is a home desktop application, while there is nothing essential missing from Linux in the business desktop application category. Thus, there have been a number of reported surveys that indicate the Linux desktop is being widely seeded (pilot projects, etc.) throughout many businesses, and I believe the prospects are good for rapid growth of Linux business desktop share this year as a result. But because of the application problem you indicated, the home desktop market will have a considerably slower Linux deployment than the business desktop market.
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