Re: An alternative to Windows
@Gary, I think the real question is not whether another o/s replaces Windows but whether thin computing model replaces fat clients. If all your device needs to run is a browser to access all applications, that changes everything.
For example, we use MS Terminal Server and Thin Clients to use RDP to get published desktops to run applications on shopfloor. Thin Clients cost more than a Chromebox now. If I can get all the applications shopfloor needs to run in browser, a Chromebox could be a cheaper way to go. With SaaS solutions like Office 365, you may not to have any installed applications on the end use device.
But server side licensing still presents a problem, regardless of whether you take out end use o/s. Think file serving or print serving from Windows server, including using Sharepoint. You have to buy user or device CALS to use those services, regardless of whether all you clients are actually Chromebox or Windows. Current cloud pricing is way more expensive than Windows CALS for file serving. I'm not aware of any cloud solution for print serving. But if it exists, I'm sure it also more expensive than a one time CAL purchase.
Those are the issues that have to go away before your dream of no Windows becomes a reality. :-)