After several years running Linux and Windows side by side, it appears that the current barrier to Linux adoption at this point are the applications available. Openoffice is nice for 90% of users, but for presentation, powerpoint slaps it hard. Plus you can’t print a fripping envelope in OpenOffice to save your life. (Bug reported over 7 years ago) I use a console for games, so this isn’t an issue for me, but others are really left out in the cold. I am tied to Intuit, which I hate with a passion reserved for child molesters. So I have to run those apps in Vbox. The Linux alternatives do not provide the capabilities that Money or Quicken do, unfortunately.
The O/S is sound on the right hardware. I tried Windows 7 on my new laptop, but it was a pig. Slow, with tons of crap I had to uninstall. I don’t like reinstalling O/S’s, and I shouldn’t have to. Windows maintenance became too much for me to handle. I have multiple RAID’s, which were always dodgy under XP. Linux is a much easier install when it works. When it doesn’t, well the wheels fall off. I try to tailor my system with compatible hardware. Laptops are a different story. Right now my touchpad is better than Win 7, but not perfect. And my microphone doesn’t work for web chat.
Bottom line, linux is lacking in many ways, but for me Windows was as well. But I don’t have to deal with license keys and activation which are a pestilence on the face the earth. Plus I can put together systems from spares and they have sufficient horsepower to make them useful.
When the apps finally come around, adoption will follow.