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Yes you want a keyboard for your office computer. But let me guess as to who owns that. The company you work for? Unless of course you work for yourself.
Your article is talking about personal computers, not work computers. "Most" people like the iPad, as you mentioned, since it doesn't have a keyboard or mouse or stylus. iPad "type" devices are exactly what people have been waiting for for a long time. You use your finger just like you would for water coloring or touching paper or ... whatever you typically do with everything that doesn't involve a computer.
Cheaper usually means less options. It's hard to build an "everything" computer that geeks will love for low dollars. Even the Pi (spelling?) computer have very limited ports on it. The more ports and capabilities they add the higher the price would be.
We'd all love to get free computers. But we would be tied to what the giver (someone has to "give" you that free computer) wants you to be able to do.
It is better that we pay for computers. The question is, how little or how much do you want? The more you want, the more it costs. The more the OS does things for you, the more the OS is going to cost. Sure cost for the company can be lowered if they sell a lot of their product. If they didn't, there is no way that Apple could sell their most recent OS (Mountain Lion) for $19.99. It would cost over $500 if they sold it to tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands.
Sure, Linux is "free". But you've got a lot of people that work at other jobs (mostly) that are not paid for what they do for Linux. They do it for love, not money.
For those that do it for money, they get paid somehow and that means someone is paying or services and that money is paying for them. Basically, business Linux is subsidizing Linux for home use. I guess that works, except that only a few people use Linux (percentage wise it is still less than 2% of desktops).