"...Linux has not aggressively exploited the nearly
two-year gap between the release of Windows 2000 and the release of
Windows XP. With the Home Edition of XP now the standard operating
system shipped with most PCs, Linux advocates can no longer use the
instability of Windows 95/98/Me as an argument for Linux.
XP is based on the NT kernel and therefore has none of the
intentional tradeoffs of stability for compatibility that plagued
previous home versions of Windows.
A company writing hardware drivers or applications for Windows
is now even more likely to target them only at XP. Before, with the
95/98/Me vs. NT/2000 split, companies already had to target two
platforms, making it more likely that they would also port to a
third one (Linux). Now, with one dominant platform, they have more
incentive to write their code once, in a non-platform-independent
way, and be done with it."