Do you mind if I ask what flavor of Linux you were running, what the desktop(s) were and what were the issues you were getting?
That is usually followed by "ah yes, that particular distro is known to be broken, no wonder you were having problems".
There have been various issues like the GP comment described, but I won't write a long rant about them. Right now, if I sent a letter to Santa Claus and wanted to have just one issue solved, it would be the problem where the laptop brightness goes in multiple steps under Debian-based distros such as Mint and Ubuntu. Apparently this is because there can be multiple listeners to the backlight event (GPU driver, ACPI driver, OS, BIOS...) and they all do the adjustment without consuming the event. Anyone can observe this problem on a laptop. This is so basic stuff that it cannot be consistently broken like this.
Fix the brightness adjustment. Doooo it. No, I won't do the engineering work to fix it. I have other problems to solve than personally fixing my OS bugs. Windows works fine.
recent years have also seen MCA bus support being removed from the kernel
Just for reference, here's also the original discussion on MCA support removal from 2012 in LKML.
Linus Torvalds was friendly about the case: "So if we actually have a user, and it works, then no, we're not removing EISA support. It's not like it hurts us or is in some way fundamentally broken, like the old i386 code was (i386 kernel page fault semantics really were broken, and the lack of some instructions made it more painful to maintain than needed — not like EISA at all, which is just a pure add-on on the side)."
In addition to Intel 80386, recent years have also seen MCA bus support being removed from the kernel. Linux generally strives to keep support even for crusty hardware if there provably is still user(s) of the particular gear."
IE is entangled with Windows
That was true in Windows 98 times, but has anyone actually verified if that still is?
I guess you missed his/her point as well. With Windows you got free updates up until July this year. With Linux you would have had to finance that yourself. Installing Linux in 2003 and paying someone to make updates for you would most likely not have been cheaper.
Ah, yes. I missed the point indeed.