I’m about a month behind the times, but on May 14th 2004 the Novell Connector (which used to be called Evolution Connector) became open source instead of payware. This opens up the field for a whole host of Linux mail, PIM and groupware applications to start supporting MS Exchange servers (apps like Kroupware, Kontact, and loads of Gnome stuff which I don’t know the names of).
As far as desktop and office use of Linux this is a real breakthrough, at my last job I had a dual-booting Linux/Win2000 box, but I could only do productive work under Win2000 because I’d never get mails, calendar notifications, access to the company address book and so on.
For me, the applications are already good enough (reading/writing documents, coding, reading/writing mail, browsing the web and IM sums up about 95% of my computer use and I can do all of these things very happily on a Linux box) but now the ability to run Linux in the workplace where Outlook is king and remain connected is just incredible. Roll on the Linux office. 🙂