The future of Linux depends on STOUshare.
STOUs are Simply Task-Orientated Users. STEVEs are Serious Techies, Engineers Vilipending Enslavement.
People stay with M-Windows because most people are STOUs not STEVEs.
STEVEs want an open road, the Mustang GT390 of hardware and the Jacqueline Bisset of algorithms... and, er, hardware.
STOUs want to "send a picture" and "read mail".
A STOU doesn't really buy much software. A STOU doesn't even buy the OS: it comes with the "mail reader" or "picture scanner", or they get it for free from someone. A STOU doesn't care about the implications of anything he needs to do his task. (SUVs are for STOUs.)
In the 90s, MonopoSoft was happy to let piracy go on because it captured STOUshare for them. MonospoSoft understands the economic importance of STOUshare. The first version of M-Windows for which MonopoSoft has seriously tried to control piracy is XP.
It's just much easier for everyone in the retail food-chain to steer and market to STOUs. Why have a variety of foods when this bag of chips -- the brand your neighbours are eating! -- will do just fine. Oh, by the way, you can't eat anything else.
Linux, the STEVE OS, has done most of the catching up that it can with STEVEs. In nations with low per-capita income and a mistrust of the US and MonopoSoft, Linux will probably gain STOUshare.
Until STOUs can talk about Linux without having to know what they are talking about, Linux will not gain STOUshare.
Until STOUs can call a Help Desk and talk to more STOUs about problems neither of them understands, Linux will not gain STOUshare.
Until Linux can do MORE than M-Windows can while supporting all that M-Windows supports and working flawlessly with everything that MonopoSoft controls, Linux can't direct where the market goes and cannot gain STOUshare in North America.
The outlook is bleak. But there is a trump card: any OS that makes Jacqueline Bisset want you is so STEVE that even all the STOUs will fight for it.