My son, however, has a PS2 - but the games that he likes playing are not the sort that I like playing.
From my standpoint, there seems to be two different sorts of gamers out there - the PC gamer (who plays shoot-em up 3D games) and console gamers (like X-Box, Playstation and Wii). It seems that the console gamers are winning - more and more people are turning to console gaming in front of their Televisions instead of sitting in front of their PCs.
Of course, there are still a huge amount of PC gamers out there - the problem is that they seem to be getting fewer. Console games seem to be getting more popular.
And this, of course, will make it harder for people to seriously consider using Microsoft Windows any more.
You see, there is a link between PC gaming and Microsoft Windows - you cannot have the latest PC game without having Windows. Linux and Mac users are automatically shut out of this process. But with the upcoming demise of Windows XP, and the major problems people are having with Windows Vista, and with a recession occurring, people will be unwilling to spend the bucks required to both have the latest and greatest games as well as having a PC system capable of running Vista properly.
And without gaming, people might as well keep using obsolete computers running older software - or obsolete computers running backwards compatible software.
And this is where Linux comes in. With people no longer willing to spend the money to upgrade their systems, and no gaming needs to speak of (the majority of PC users), switching to Linux will be a serious attraction. Combine this with the ever growing user friendliness of Ubuntu Linux, and the stage is set.
But what will the numbers be? One thing is for sure and that is that 2008 and 2009 will not see a major stampede of Windows users becoming Linux users. You're not going to see Linux suddenly command 10% or more of the PC market.
But what you will see is Linux commanding a smaller percentage of the PC market. I would guestimate that 5% of the PC market by the end of 2009 would still be wildly optimistic - yet it is entirely possible that this will occur.
Why do people have computers? A lot of people use them for internet surfing, emailing and word processing and occasionally have a need for spreadsheets. All of that can be done more than adequately with Ubuntu (or Kubuntu) currently, and with zero direct software costs. Switching over to Linux will, of course, be "costly", but once that initial learning curve has been overcome, the user is unlikely to look back.
Ubuntu, of all the Linux distributions, has the advantage of running a six-month release schedule. Ubuntu 8.4, "Hardy Heron", is about to be released. I'm still using Kubuntu 7.10, "Gutsy Gibbon", but when the new release is available I will be able to seamlessly upgrade my operating system. While Microsoft takes years to release new operating systems and releases only the occasional "patch", Ubuntu Linux users can upgrade to a new version every six months and have software upgrades (to fix bugs or security) available every week.
And, of course, Ubuntu Linux (like all Linux distributions) is free to download and distribute. Once a PC user is able to accept the one-off indirect costs of moving from Windows to Linux, the long term costs shrink considerably. I have personally saved thousands of dollars in not having to purchase new computers and new software over the last 5 years because I have been able to use Linux on obsolete PCs.