funny you mention Master of Orion II: it works flawlessly on Ubuntu. Just double-click on Orion95.exe and "it just works".
Because of all the great work done on wine, it getting so that Linux is more backwards compatible with old Windows programs than Windows itself is.
The OP probably tried Linux 10 years ago, had a bad experience, and just assumes that nothing has changed since he last used it. Nowadays I think I have more technical issues with windows that require me to go into the CLI or registry editor than I do on Linux. And when I do have a problem a quick google search almost always yields the answer within a couple of minutes, while a Windows problem I have to go through several pages of google results, wade through page after page of badly formatted forums full of those annoying ads that cover everything until I click the close button, and still only get half an answer and have to figure out the rest through trial and error. And if I can't find an answer on a linux problem I can go over to ubuntu forums and get a helpful and friendly answer from a fellow linux user within a few hours. Many windows issues I have I end up just having to ignore because a fix just can't be found.
We're now in a bizzaro world where linux is more user friendly than windows, has less need for a CLI than windows, linux users are more friendly than windows users when asking for help (and are still better informed).
Most older apps can be easily run via wine. For the few that can't, I find it nice to keep a windows install in a virtualbox and use that for those odd little apps (there are very few now).
Linux works great for the casual computer user. They can browse the Internet, listen to music (and keep their collection organised), watch movies, etc. There is no need for virus updates, or spyware scans. You plug in a USB device, you don't have to find the disk to install the driver for it, it just works. I had a dual boot setup on my mother's system because I don't like forcing people to use Linux, I just like giving them the option. I tried to boot to windowson her system to update things, and nothing was working. I asked her about it, she just shrugged and said "I don't know, I don't use that anymore".
I've said time and again the only group of people that hate Linux is the so-called Windows "Power User" type. An advanced user likes the stability and openness of Linux. We can go in and tinker with ever aspect of the OS if we so choose. A beginner likes Linux because there's a lot less work in maintaining the system (no virus scanner updates, spyware scans, and god forbid your windows gets infected with something... better call a tech). But the "Power Users"... they have a lot of time invested in learning all the registry tricks, knowing the best virus scannign software (what is it now? MS security essentials or something like that?) which software to use to scan for malware (is it still spyware S&D?). They've spent all this time to get all this OS specific knowledge they don't want to start on a new OS and have to learn things like a beginner user. And these are the people who are managing the IT departments. These are the people that the home user goes to when they have a problem with their PC. It doesn't matter that Linux has solved all the problems the OP mentioned. It doesn't matter how many problems Windows has. The Power User actually likes the problem that Windows has because they know how to fix them, and when they fix those problems for their friends their friends oooh and ahhh over how smart they are.
Oh well, at least my computer works the way it should.