This year, unlike the past 25, is DEFINITELY the year of the Linux desktop. Definitely.
I've managed to avoid those disappointments over the years by sticking with Windowmaker. Makes it easier to not care about KDE/Gnome usability issues because I'm in a window manager so obtuse it's almost openly-hostile.
(No, the sarcasm wasn't lost on me
But seriously, Windows 10 isn't going anywhere and I think the idea that Windows 10 S is anything more at this point than an attempt to compete with Chromebooks is rather overblown. It could certainly be the future course of Windows, i.e., to be more like iOS and Android in terms of a closed to semi-closed ecosystem, but that's unlikely given a lot of factors, including of course full Windows 10 is just a simple upgrade away on Windows 10 S machines.
What we're seeing in the Windows 10 world is a rather polarizing division between how Windows is approached in Enterprise environments vs. how it's approached in consumer ones. TL;DR, expect editions below Pro to continue being treated more and more like appliances by Microsoft; Pro on up will let you regain some of that control, but really only in Active Directory environments.
As for the upgrade path from Windows 10 S to 'regular' Windows 10... I can see that being offered as an option, at least on some ARM and most x86/x64 platforms. Of course, I can also see where that may be something that is either allowed or disallowed by a hardware lock or fuse, so may be a per-manufacturer, per-device possibility.
Returning to the Ataribox for a moment: I really don't care what it runs, and I'm going to hazard a guess that the vast majority of potential purchasers don't either. But (and this one we've learned from history many, many times) without a comprehensive set of launch titles on hand and committed developers actively expanding that library, it's going to have one giant hurdle to overcome before it even gets to market. It's not clear if even that basic consideration is taken care of.
There also needs to be a compelling reason to buy it - unless it offers something the others don't, I'm going to vote with my wallet and buy something else. Streaming video apps and Twitter-on-your-TV aren't compelling when nearly every $49 Blu-Ray player does that. But an x64 box with an Atari logo on it isn't compelling either when it's just repeating that sort of functionality.
That's not to mention the capital and operating might that's going to be needed to make any sort of suitable run at Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony. I'm not talking about market domination: I'm talking about just being *noticed* in the marketplace enough to even build momentum. It doesn't sound like those considerations are in place, but I will admit that I am in no way privy to any information that supports or denies that assertion.
We'll see what it is when we see it, and hopefully it's not a repeat of the Tramiel / JTS era.