>Pushing aside a severe lack of subtlety, it is quite obvious that you cannot be considered as being
>representative of anything but a tiny minortity of computer users.
Incorrect. He's representative of the MAJORITY of business computer users. The majority are crunching numbers at their desks - accountants (budgeting, accounts payable/receivable, cash flow projection, etc.), logistics (analyzing bids, optimizing carriers, freight consolidation, etc. along with freight payment), demand forecasting, purchasing is analyzing vendor bids, etc. The other major task is working with data - transforming it (ETL), accepting it, recording it, outputting it, reporting it, analyzing it. It's things like AutoCAD and Photoshop that are not being used by most businesses, let alone most departments or most employees.
As such, many of the tools Chemist is using are useful for all sorts of numerical data analysis in addition to any field-specific software. And the reality is that numerical analysis and data manipulation in no way, shape or form depend on Microsoft products.
>There are far more secretaries, spread sheet users, accountants etc in this world than there are Chemists,
And these people, per above, can be quite happy using LibreOffice Writer, Calc, and many other options. In fact, many popular ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) packages which combine everything from accounting and supply chain/logistics to payroll and HR as different modules in one suite use the browser as an interface or are Java-based rendering them OS-agnostic on the client end. Replace Microsoft? Solutions like this enable desktops themselves to be replaced with thin clients or a Chromebook.
What I do in business intelligence/data mining today is quite easily done without any help from Microsoft - in fact, given that many Microsoft products such as Excel are historically so buggy that numerous published papers by statisticians warn that Excel simply should not be used for statistical work at all and show Excel failing numerous benchmark tests with some broken functions taking a full FIFTEEN YEARS to fix and getting to the point of having sub-headings like "Does Microsoft Ever Fix Bugs In Excel?" not using Microsoft products is considered the smart move just on pure accuracy reasons. Anyone choosing to employ Excel today - in fact, anyone choosing to continue to patronize a company that lets reported bugs languish (or "fixes" them in ways that make them worse, which is also documented) for a decade or more should be fired for incompetence. They're just choosing the default without doing research. That's without getting into Word's incompatibilities (with itself) and its broken Master Document feature which has also remained broken since Word '95 and leads to data corruption in large documents, Access' various incompatibilities with earlier versions, stripping out features to force the use of MS products, non-adherance to standards, VBA being deprecated, etc.
With tools like python (cross-platform), Qt (cross-platform framework), Rapidminer (second-most popular Java-based BI suite), R (amazing mathematical programming language that can essentially do anything math-related and should be used instead of Excel for all but the most trivial tasks and the #1 tool in BI right now), sqlite3 for local databases, PostgreSQL for enterprise-class client/server database functionality (including the unique ability to code stored procedures in python and R), BIRT for web-based reporting, the python modules pandas for class-leading ETL data manipulation (developed by a trading firm and used heavily in financial and scientific areas) and sqlalchemy for ORM, etc. there's no need (or room) for Microsoft products anymore. The R Studio IDE and RapidMiner (via RapidAnalytics) can also run in the browser for use beyond the desktop.
I've got more enterprise-class data mining, data analysis, programming, database and machine learning firepower on my desktop today than I did when performing analytics at the HQ of a major billion-dollar U. S. retailer with close to 1000 stores just a few years ago. It's all running on Linux, with one exception it's all Big Three cross-platform (that one exception is a Mathematica-like program that runs on Linux and OS X but NOT WINDOWS), and it's all open source. That's in addition to all of the "glue" from e-mail and browsing to disk burning, backup, mind-mapping, VoIP etc that's also on the system. With slight reconfigurations my setup could be used for developers (replacing the python and IDE with Java/Eclipse, etc.), accountants, authors (slip in Scribus for desktop publishing), everything I used to do in my previous field of logistics, etc. Any general-purpose business task is quite capable of being performed today in Linux or OS X and much of it on more mobile devices as well.
There's nothing the masses are doing that they couldn't be doing today on Linux or OS X. In fact, give them Linux and the KDE desktop, and they might not know they're not using Windows!