Let me start off by saying that I like open-source and Ubuntu very much, and after trying Ubuntu 10.04 and seeing the rapid pace of improvement in Ubuntu 10.10, I can say without a doubt that by the next LTS (Ubuntu 12.04, which will release roughly the same time as Windows 8 ) will be a vastly superior desktop class operating system than anything else on the market. That being said an operating system’s primary purpose is to run applications and so an operating system is only as good as its apps, which has always been Linux’s Achilles heel (that and multimedia but that is directly related to lack of apps and vendor support). Yes I know none of this is Linux’s fault, it’s the fault of third-party software vendors not supporting it. But at the end of the day if an operating system doesn’t have the apps people want then it’s useless. Now that doesn’t mean Ubuntu can’t take on Windows 8 come 2012, there may be a window of opportunity as the desktop market is being marginalized back to the realm of corporations and geeks thanks to the iPad and coming onslaught of tablets that are proving popular with the non-tech savvy consumer crowd. Being Ubuntu is aimed squarely at the consumer crowd and Microsoft apparently can’t make a consumer OS to save their life, then they have a chance to sway the remaining consumers, but to do so Ubuntu needs to start courting third-party software vendors (if they haven’t already) and independent developers to develop for Ubuntu. I have talked with many people who have heard of Ubuntu and would like to switch but at the end of the day it comes down to apps and vendor support.