> My MOTHER can use windows. My Dad can even (at a push) install it on a machine. Neither of them would stand a chance on linux.
This would make more sense if only you'd had a look at KUbuntu. I know of several cases where yer average Windows user is now doing perfectly well with the KDE GUI, OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird etc. on various Linux distributions - including KUBuntu; one is over 70, the others are 'mom & pop' -types. Not one of them is remotely technical.
> the average non-techie doesn't want to spend time configuring their machine, they expect it to work out of the box.
None of the above spent any time configuring things (unless you include tweaking the required resolution via the GUI), and they all had an installation which worked out of the box. (off the DVD, actually).
> even the most technophobic can handle going to nvidia.com, downloading the driver.exe and running it.
As I said in my earlier post, the KUbuntu installer identified the NVidia card *and installed the driver automatically*. No-one had to go anywhere to download anything.
> If the Linux community want to "challenge windows"
I don't think "the Linux community" can be arsed - they're probably too busy just getting on with things. Besides, with Microsoft losing the plot more and more they're becoming less & less relevant.
> have to accept that windows actually does a lot of things right.
What, you mean like pushing buttons to get lots of stuff done? Well what GUI *doesn't* do that? As for the software, there really isn't much about a spreadsheet, wordprocessor, browser or mail client which could be classified as something which somehow, unlike all the others, Windows just does right.
What WIndows also does is lock users into using proprietary file formats and protocols for no other reason than greedy commercial interests. Microsoft wasn't found guilty of being a rapacious, predatory monopolist because it happened to be a quiet day at the courthouse.
> It's the dominant os for a reason (and it's not just microsofts business practices).
Wrong, quite wrong - and I speak from experience having once worked at a company which intended to sell OS2 Warp along with Windows - until Microsoft threatened to drop the OEM deal. Besides, how many users actually *choose* to use Windows, and how many users just click away because it's what they see when the PC starts for the first time?
There's a reason why Windows is pre-installed on just about everything except table lamps, and that reason has everything to do with Microsoft's dubious business practices and nothing to do with choice or popularity.