"Desktop operating systems are bought on the basis of the available applications"
Interesting. Here I was thinking that the largest majority sell simply because they come pre-installed when consumers buy PCs. You mean that most consumers actually actively choose their OS on this basis? I need to move to this reality. (Companies are, of course, another matter *cough exchange *cough).
"...and the Open Handset Alliance (nominal owner of Android) is betting that mobile phones are headed the same way"
I certainly hope that mobiles are not going where desktop OSs have been. I much prefer to see desktop OSs go where mobile platforms are now. It's far from perfect, but it would be an improvement.