Your next desktop operating system is taking shape now; your decision regarding which OS to adopt may be your key technology choice for the year.
This is not a step back in time nor a failure to see service-oriented architectures, high-function handhelds or even voice-based applications as contenders to win "most important technology" designations.
However, for most business technology users, desktops and laptop computers remain the predominant mechanisms for interacting with a companys business applications.
The next version of Microsofts Longhorn desktop offering, when it is introduced next year, will have open-source competitors finally bringing competition back to this segment.
Last week at Novells BrainShare conference, the Novell execs outlined Novell Linux Desktop 10, touting that operating systems Beagle search technology.
The Beagle search system is designed to index and search hard drive files, Web sites, instant message archives and any other location to which a user might digitally wander.
Add in 3-D desktop interfaces and fast rendering engines, and you end up—those execs claim—with a Macintosh-like experience on a Linux box.
The week before BrainShare, I had a chance to meet with Michael Robertson, founder and CEO of Linspire.
Robertson was in New York to talk about Release 5.0 of the Linspire operating system, as well as to meet with Manhattan music moguls in one of his other roles, as president of MP3tunes.
Robertson, a vocal and articulate advocate of Linux and open-source software, is a constant thorn in Microsofts side.
Ask Robertson why Linspire 5.0 should do for Linux what Windows 3.1 did for that platform, and hell tick off a bunch of reasons.