Rather, Microsoft is (or was, in the pre-post-PC world) everywhere because of (a) licensing stitch-ups with hardware vendors and (b) network externalities: get into Corporate IT departments with Office, then people will want (or need) to use the same OS at home, and then you can strong-arm hardware vendors into signing exclusive Windows-only-on-our-PCs licensing deals, which in turn convinces Corporate IT that there's no viable alternative to a Windows-only ecosystem ...
Arguments about whether or not Linux is fit for desktop use by non-technical users miss the point: Windows' monopoly status was a virtuous circle (for a value of "virtuous" that approximates to "in the interests of MSFTs shareholders and provides job security for MCSEs") until the wheels fell off when confronted with an even bigger ecosystem that came out of nowhere. Which is the magic rabbit Apple pulled out of a hat with the iPad, and Google seeks to emulate with Android.
The desktop is now irrelevant -- less than 10% of computing devices people use are desktops or laptops: it's all gone mobile frighteningly fast -- but for what it's worth, Linux won. Because the winning Linux desktop is actually a phonetop or tablet environment: Android.
And even for entertainment, are you seriously telling me these little ARM devices with no good input devices, ps-1 calibre graphical capabilities, and MINISCULE screens are making computers which run the latest big games irrelevant? People who are into games have been talking about GTA-V and the like lately, not simple side scrollers and 2d physics games where you launch birds at pigs.
It's ironic that you probably typed that with a desktop or laptop. Irrelevant? Hardly.
Further, I dislike the touch interface of phones. I may connect a mouse to it so I can see if it's more usable. Then I'd need a Bluetooth keyboard too of course. And since my older eyes strain a bit with the tiny screen I'll probably get a SlimPort so I can read the screen on my regular monitor. Wait! My phone is now a PC!!
Similarly after that article was published, I saw the analytics of a large university and could see the amount of mobile use increasing (thought not as dramatically as POF) with tasks as complex as filling out a college application.
In the end, I'm surprised, but yes, people fill out dating profiles, college applications, and even Hacker News comments from mobile devices more and more.
Phones with keyboards are a dying breed, however -- that's more interesting.
Programming/development it my MBP.
The best I can do is find some browser stats - in this case, mobile seems to be making up 17% of the browser user agents as of July.
edit: interestingly, chrome appears to be growing faster than all mobile browsers combined.
I disagree completely. Why don't you write all your books on an iPad? It's not the tool for the job. In my opinion 20 years from now, assuming we don't have cortical implants or similar, people are going to go to work and sit down in front of a monitor with a keyboard and a mouse. It won't be so different to how people worked 20 years ago.
MSFT completely agrees with you. The see the Zeitgeist going towards more and more devices so they are scrambling to make handsets and tablets that no one wants to buy. They totally ignored the core desktop user with Windows 8. But this has to do with being a publicly traded company I think. For some reason a slow and steady market like desktops isn't good enough. They can't go to the investors and say "We aren't the sexy new thing, but we'll continue to make boatloads of money for the foreseeable future." (Honestly I'm not sure why they can't do that, but companies have to plan on growing for some reason.)
Whilst I generally agree with your statement, I don't think it's due to MS having a good interface as opposed to Linux having a not so polished interface. This was a deal breaker for a lot of people I know in the not-so-tech-savvy world. Things have changed a lot in the past few years, but a lot of damage was done by then.
You're going to need a citation for this, I don't believe it to be remotely true.