I first ran Linux back in the mid-90's though it's been a while since I did much with it (maybe like 5 years). Back when I started it was 2 generations ahead of Windows at least, destroyed it in terms of performance and stability, and was just a lot more fun to use. Fast forward to today and any lead has pretty much evaporated.
Recently when I got too annoyed at how slow Windows 10 was running on a cheap laptop I picked up (4 gigs of RAM, AMD a4-6210 and a SSD), I decided to replace it with Linux and was honestly pretty underwhelmed. Performance was about the same, and this was a Linux Mint distro running XFCE with bells and whistles turned off. It was still sluggish to the point that it was annoying. The user experience was pretty much identical to what I remember from 10 years ago. Honestly, if I installed a 10-year-old distro it would probably scream.
I'm not a programmer so not sure what could be done at this point; even Torvalds has admitted the kernel is bloated, and as a user it seems like the graphics system is just an increasing number of layers, managers, and toolkits piled on top of each other.