"This seems to get overlooked by OS ideologues, incumbency carries the most weight."
First i am not arguing about ideologues. I have stated many times i don't believe there is a "perfect" OS. One of the issues with Windows is actually its popularity. If i am going to write a virus/malware/browser hijack or whatever I would target what everyone uses.
To your point about the usability of Mint, it is somewhat odd and not consistent with my own experiences.
We live in Ontario and the kids are required to take French class.
I recently rebuilt the middle kids computer to upgrade to the newer Ubuntu and move her to a spare SSD drive I had kicking around to hold her over until I buy her a new computer.
So, as she's working on her French assignment for summer school she notices it is not doing any grammar/spell checking.
She googles "libreoffice French dictionary" , downloads it and installs it and moves on.
Had she used MS Office, she would have had the same issue (missing dictionary) and installed it in a similar way.
I don't prevent them from using windows. As i said earlier, when one of them had powerpoint issues i offered to convert her back but she found an alternative instead (borrowing her moms computer).
They can open their MS Office work from school on LibreOffice, edit it and save it back and for the most part it works fairly well (powerpoint being the big exception where some of the formatting gets all weird).
I will leave windows on their new computers and give it half the drive (500GB) so it is fully usable and let them decide which to run.
No one in my house are "coders" either (Obviously I am in IT but not a dev) but as someone else said their career choice is up to them and they have made their choices which are solid jobs with good future potential.
My two desktops at work both run windows and i have used Windows for my entire career. Having my kids use Linux at home doesn't harm their ability to use windows, but it does give them another prospective on how to solve issues.
I try to encourage them to think "outside the box" and not just go with the flow.