Will Microsoft? Will they even be killed? It seems like the Redmond giant is a lot like the Roman Empire. Too big for its briches, and lately on a downward slope. They’ve extended the shelf life several times now of XP, due to among other things a user petition signed by many thousands of Vista non users.
Google has been applying pressure for some time now. Gmail is aimed directly at Exchange Server, between the mail and calendar. It’s even available in whatever domain you might choose as part of Google Applications.
And, while speaking of their apps, Google Docs is now available offline.
The rumors of a Google Phone seem to have died off, but I’m still hearing about a Google Operating System. This may or may not ever happen, but I’d bet it’s holding some people back from “up”grading to Vista? Their desktop search application puts them on the desktop. They have a significant amount of public good will, both from the quality of most of their products, and their protection of their customers against the Bush administration’s domestic spying programs. (Although, in truth, there are questions about Google’s data retention vs privacy, and about their response to the US vs China’s governments. Some people are even comparing them to Microsoft!)