A working developper can cut his teath on Panther, Linux 2.6 that is here and now software. When a company pays my wages, I can defend researching these products because they allow me to say something defenite not something fuzzy about things that may materialize differently in a few years.
If you answer that with "evereyone will have forgotten by then" you are properly right; nobody was sacked by buying Microsoft right? If you are in the kind of company where you can spend your time on tomorrows world, I fail to see how it earns todays crust.
Yes, they are relentless and dominant. What does it make you? They will deliver and prevail, what will you? As to my niche, it pays my way.
No need no to be anonymous :)