At that point it doesn't matter if Linux is beer-free or speech-free, how it can run forever without needing a reboot, how secure it is, etc. Until it can pass the day in, day out tests I mentioned above, and do it without the user having to unlearn and then relearn how to do things, it's going nowhere on the mainstream desktop.
Of course, these ninnies had no idea what they were talking about, and they didn't know enough about programming to tell the difference between a documented API and the semantics of that level of communication between pieces of software.
Instead of the promised wonderland, we were lured into a dark alley where Microsoft beat us with a sock full of kruegerrands and then proceeded to do all manner of horrible, system destabilizing things to us.
Oh, the binary horror...
No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.