An anonymous reader writes "Desktop Linux has a recent commentary on the inevitable growth of Linux on the cheaper end of the desktop market. According to the article, the availability of under-$500 usable hardware, combined with a free operating system, free desktop office products, and free or cheap 'software as a service' online applications, opens a new market in which Microsoft cannot compete. 'Microsoft will fight this trend tooth and nail. It will cut prices to the point where it'll be bleeding ink on some of its product lines. And Windows XP is going to stick around much longer than Microsoft ever wanted it to. Still, it won't be enough.'"