A few years ago I tried Ubuntu and predicted it would become a serious challenger to Windows, in about 18 months.
Well, it's about 18 months later, was I right?
Not exactly. Ubuntu seems to have stood still, if not actually gone backwards. In particular, the newer releases have much worse sound and video performance on my hardware (Intel CPU/GPU Mac Minis) than earlier releases.
The sound driver issue is because Linux, in its typical decentralized fashion, is trying to figure out how to provide a standard audio subsystem, and has two or three competing standards that are duking it out. Since they all suck it seems odd that people defend them so much. Just pick one already.
The video driver issue is because Intel decided to take several years to rewrite their Linux video driver stack, and Ubuntu decided to ship the new broken drivers rather than continue to use the old unbroken drivers. Very very lame on both Intel and especially Ubuntu's part.
And Phoronix's performance tests show that the performance of Ubuntu has gone downhill slightly over the last few releases. (With no offsetting user-visible feature improvements.) So we see the problem's larger than just sound and video drivers.
It's almost as if the Linux community doesn't _want_ to be successful.
Microsoft must be laughing all the way to the bank on this one.