I was reading today a post from eWeek saying "Wine Is a Long Shot at Solving the Windows-Apps-on-Linux Problem" - Yes that is the case.
I believe that when using an OS you should use whatever that OS is meant for. Linux to Linux, Windows to Windows, OS X to OS X, AmigaOS to AmigaOS, SkyOS to SkyOS, and the list goes on. Obviously some of these can use cross-platform applications that have libraries that'll work on either-or-whatever--That's not the issue.
The issue comes in when people expect an OS such as Linux, to run applications it wasn't meant to run in the first place, such as Windows applications. Of course WINE is there (and developed) to help Windows applications run on Linux--it's evident not every Windows app is going to work, simply because Linux doesn't support this by default.
I'm not sure whether this is a bad or good thing - What I do know is, that a lot more alternative or even in some cases better applications can be used on Linux. I frown to see when people are frustrated that their favourite Windows application does not work on Linux, but such is Life--I direct them to a Linux app that serves the same purpose. Sure it may not look as pretty, may not do every single thing in some cases, but it's still there&usable.
Time is to Tell the Future
With the progression Linux has been making in general (from the kernel, to the Desktop Interface, to the distributions such as Ubuntu), Linux has came along way (I have many more to thank because of this such as Red Hat, Slackware, and Debian) - I'd say that from what I can see, that it is very much possible that Linux will have a wide-selection of applications that serve any one user's needs. If you pay close attention, you can see that is happening--not asmuch as you'd think, but it is. On an average basis, it already is.
The balance and OEM outlook
'cuz the production of prebuilt computers being sold&shipped from major manufacturers I think that with time more people will become aware of Linux - With that being said, there will be a higher demand for more um, average use applications. Look at System76, selling machines with Linux. There is probably other city shops that are doing the same thing.
I've setup a family member with Ubuntu, and they have seem to caught onto within just a week. He used Windows for the entire time of ever using a computer. I think that on average if this is possible, then just taking a little more time, and effort from everyone, well, I'm sure you know.
Ubuntu has brought a new light to the Linux world, and I'm happy for this.
I think I'm a little off-topic, but oh well
WINE by itself
WINE obviously serves its purpose. Running some Windows applications. Microsoft Office, handful of games (Crossover thrives the most in this in my opinion since it's aimed at Paid support (some things don't always have to paid, but because this is, it works out as it should (how do you expect them to buy the games?))), and of course, some developers actually use it to create Windows applications (yes, it's true).
However WINE is not meant to be a replacement for Windows applications. Sure, some people can think of it that way--but in all reality, it only serves for some applications & games.
It's what I always tell people: "Don't come to Linux expecting to run Windows."
People are obviously not stupid, they're just sometimes un-aware of the options that are out there. Other than Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Fedora, Linux has no real Batman light beaming about. Month-by-month, or year-by-year Linux is getting more and more light.
The advertisement for Linux is obviously not as much as Windows, or OS X, but if you take a look at the ZDnet video of how people thought KDE was Windows 7 without actually knowing what Windows 7 looked like--you'll notice what I said earlier (on average basis) is happening.
Don't worry, we're not trying to fool people, just let them know there is other options. If these options do not suit you and you like what you're using, then continue to use it. You don't see me going around giving false information about other OSs though.
When I fix computers and they happen to have Windows on them, I keep it as is. If they are curious to know what is out there I give them those options and help support them for their new journey. Occasionally I do bring up other solutions anyway, just for conversation. Anyway...
The last line outcome?
I think that with how Linux is being set now, will eventually have major affect later. What chart says this?--Heck if I know. I do know that I'm starting to hear more people talk about Linux more than ever since Ubuntu swept the market.