With the desktop Linux adoption rate steady in the statistics and flamewars (and sometimes discussions) about the reasons, the real rate passes nearly unnoticed. What am I writing about? Embedded devices. A high percentage (of not the majority) of consumer-range DVD players run Linux. And what about small routers connected to the cable modems (or ones including the cable modem functionality)? They're also running Linux. It's not that rare to have two or more Linux devices at home. With or without knowing.
How does it affect the Linux desktop market? It seems that it doesn't. Directly, that's probably true. Indirectly, however, desktop Linux machines often use the same elements embedded Linux devices do. It can mean drivers available. Or, at least, specifications. I have already noticed that there have been less and less driver-related Linux problems. A newbie usually can find all drivers for his/her hardware. If it's not included by default, of course. There are other reasons of the faster avalibility of different drivers, but the rate of 'hidden' Linux devices plays its' role here.