Who pays them?
Well that's a good question, we know who pays the experts who predict Windows domination, but who pays for the positive linux forecasts? .... .... Could it actually be that their results haven't been bought by any interested parties, or would that shake your world just a little too much?
Healthy scepticism is a good thing but it's quite different from blinkered heckling. Consider the following: Two new linux based smart phone solutions are in development, Limo and Android, one backed by the marketing dollars and influence of Google. Handset manufacturers have queued up to announce their support of linux. The potential cost breaks of linux on mobiles is extremely appealing to manufacturers.
Acer, yes a PC manufacturer, has just announced their intention to put linux on more laptops for cost and performance reasons. What has this to do with mobiles? Well the same cost and performance applies there too, they are actually pretty closely related, small portable devices which seek to minimise power consumption while offering platform which the manufacturer can customise to a high degree, with lower (zero) licensing costs.
Anyone can develop software for linux based handsets without SDK costs and this too appeals to manufacturers since it relives them of the obligation to produce applications in house. A greater abundance of free or low cost software is a definite selling point for a handset.
No-one is predicting that linux will dominate the smartphone market in five years, just that it will outsell Windows Mobile which isn't that hard an achievement since WM has such a small market share anyway.
One last point, though linux won't come to dominate any market overnight, you can't argue that it hasn't gained significant ground in the last five years. The number of users of linux has risen exponentially on all platforms from desktops, servers and routers to mobiles, fridges, set-top boxes and media centres. Desktop linux is so easy that grandparents around the world are using it. It's increasingly being deployed in schools and offices as a replacement for Windows. You'll get no argument from me that it's difficult for long term Windows techies to adjust to something unfamiliar, but linux on the desktop has already arrived.