That's just talk. I've tried to leave home users with Ubuntu before in the past. There's always something that goes wrong and is absolutely impossible for a home user to solve. It's just too *big* and has too many points of failure without the organized support backend of something like the Windows Platform. Open source offerings will get much better when they simplify and reintegrate.
You have obviously never run into the quality of people I have. I quite regularly get calls from family, friends of family (and their friends, who I've done work for) to fix their windows machines. So while this isn't FUD, it isn't unique to Open-Source at all.
And the integration thing? It is happening all over the place. It used to be that Gnome used CORBA and KDE used DCOP to do things like provide application interfaces that could be hooked from other applications (to, say, be able to control your music-player from your IRC program) and also provide a sane place to find some system data. Now they both use DBUS. Which actually provides a lot more flexibility for the interfaces than DCOP or CORBA ever did... And it also ties into the 'hardware access layer' so that you can find information about all the hardware in the machine in one place.
But really... It sounds like you are calling for projects to merge so that there is less choice and more talent focused on individual projects. I hate to say it, but that will never occur
Actually, it's not a conspiracy. At this point, Windows is simply more user friendly and usable. I suspect Haiku will overtake Windows in usability before the Linux desktop does, it just has a broad natural advantage in terms of architecture. You certainly can't take away Linux's server utility, though. It will always be firm in that market.
I see you took out the whole section where I covered the well documented cases of MS abusing its position in an attempt to force existing competitors out of a specific market (or out of business entirely) and to keep new competitors from entering that same market.
The moment Linux came even close to being usable, Dell and HP picked it up as options. Those don't do that well on the market. I would say they put exuberant faith in it to offer something like Ubuntu on a consumer machine. It certainly doesn't belong there.
Oh, I see... You are trying to make the claim that because Dell and certain other OEM's now offer Linux that they didn't because it wasn't ready. Sorry, but you fail your history check - part of the US DoJ's case against MS was that they did things like threatened to revoke bulk-licensing deals if anything other than an MS OS was offered as an option for a new machine or required that every machine - regardless of whether or not it shipped with an MS OS installed - be counted when it came to calculating the price of the bulk-license. That is what kept Linux off of machines from major manufacturers.
I've never owned a machine that worked with Linux without incident. Never. My current laptop, for instance, the Gateway LT3103u, does not work well with Linux at all. Its battery life and power management under Linux are especially dismal- and this is pretty ordinary hardware. It's actually losing quite heavily to Vista on this machine. I find that hilarious.
I've run Linux on three different laptops now. All three of them were "new" when I purchased them. All three of them have had better battery life in Linux. One of them reported having 4+ hours available at full-charge in Windows, but would last maybe 2 hours - where in Linux it reports just shy of 3 hours and actually lasts just shy of 3 hours. So YMMV - this is why I suggest people not trust my anecdotal evidence without doing research and/or testing.
It sounds like you haven't used a Windows system since Windows 98. I can tell because you mention the system rebooting to install a USB device driver.
Last version of Windows that I actually ran in more than a VM was XP (Service Pack 2) and that one required me to reboot when I installed USB web-cam. No, it should not have required it, but it did.
Windows users don't have to do research to know if something is supported on their system. Almost any device you buy includes a driver CD. I don't think it's terribly complex. It will even update WHQL drivers through Windows update. On Windows 7, you can basically just rely on Windows to find all its own drivers online.
I do no research to know if a device is supported by Linux. And no, this isn't because I have been using Linux for years. You make a statement about the driver CD... Well, I have never needed a "driver CD" for a piece of hardware in Linux. So your argument there is a non-starter.
It's not really the consumer's job to do this, though. Your OEM is supposed to handle all the basic driver packaging for your PC.
Exactly. And when I purchased my current laptop from Dell and told them to include Linux on it, it magically works flawlessly. I am not, now, running the version of Linux that shipped on the machine - but it is still fully functional. So what, exactly, is your point?
And it fails. I think Haiku has a better shot of becoming a usable desktop os. It's designed for the desktop, it has sane and stable driver API's, and it works with multimedia instead of against it. With the open source development model, it can manage slow adoption financially, unlike Be.
I have to agree with you here. But Linux fails because it does not (and has never) tried to hide any of the power of the operating system from the user. It also was not designed by a small team with a single vision of what the OS should be.
I also have to agree with you on the 'Sane and Stable Driver API' bit. However... With the move to providing more and more interfaces for running drivers directly in user-space I am seeing a change here. And when those interfaces for running drivers completely in userspace are solid and complete, then I will agree with the Linux Kernel policy of "no stable driver ABI".
I try every new generation of Ubuntu. It's always a terrible disappointment. The UNIX platform is simply too ill adopted to desktop usage scenarios. It's too much of a stretch.
Really? Let me call your attention to Mac OSX. It is a Unix operating system - it has passed all tests and the people that control the UNIX trademark have given Apple the go-ahead to brand it as a 'Unix'. So I guess your contention that UNIX isn't a good base for a desktop OS is dead in the water.
About Haiku... I tried BeOS back in the final days before it died. I absolutely loved it. The P3-500 I was running it on ran like a Dog when running Windows (IIRC, I had 2k installed) and felt like a new machine when running BeOS. So I am hoping the Haiku can recapture all of that feeling. If I had a machine I could spare for it, I would actually give the current Alpha a try on bare-metal.
The above post contains data from both third-party sources and anecdotal evidence. Do independent research and/or testing before trusting either.