Linux is hard to configure, well sometime yes, other no. Sharing a drive is a click away. LibreOffice has become good enough; seriously, you should try it on Windows. NVidia proprietary video driver is pretty much on par with Windows. Games, well it depends if you play them or not. Many do not care; thus the reason why they departed from Windows to tablets.
If you want solid reason for disliking Linux, read my take on it at My disastrous experience with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Thar.
Despite, I still love Linux and am a hard core fan. The reasons can be found here.
Embedded Arduino development. Python development.
I've pulled a hard drive from my desktop and tossed it in my laptop and FreeBSD didn't know the difference. (Windows can't get past a BSOD).
I did the same with Linux kernel. That is how I upgrade my hardware; just put the old HD into the new laptop. Some automatic configuration is then performed. Maybe I have to configure the graphic card with the GUI, but I do not remember. As easy as it can be.
They were real programmers, i.e. paid to work on their project 5 days a week. Pay the current developers of Tux the same and you would see the difference.
I totally agree with you that Linux for the desktop has taken a turn for the worst and I too, have a hard time promoting it. One can read about my bad experience at: http://www.deragon.info/ubuntu.... I describe most of my problems with screenshots and bug reports, the latter which get mostly never resolved.
Cannot give you the details because I am no expert, but under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Thar, I have no force feedback on my Logitech joysticks and wheel, with any game. I recall reading that the Linux driver for force feedback is immature, but I cannot find the article. Also, Logitech controllers, I believe, use a proprietary protocol.
That is one of the problems for SteamOS; lack of controller support. SteamOS does not support force feedback yet, AFAIK.
If Red Hat goes after some Desktop market, it is for specialized, corporate markets. Not for general consumers and surely not on laptop.
As for Canonical's resources, I guess they are split half and half between the server business and consumer business, the server business fuelling the consumer initiative. Currently they are focusing on the tablet / smartphone. Desktop is pretty largely pushed aside for the moment; this is obvious by the low quality (numerous bugs) of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)