Let's be real here - okay?
/Climb up on soap box
Okay - let's be real every one. Each and every user of Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS, Amiga OS and every other operating system, is going to have a different experience. People who use GUI's, to a degree, can float between the different GUI's and remain fairly productive. The same is also true of command-prompt systems. But we're talking about two different things here - the OS and the application(s).
As Bill said/implied in the original article, Linux has deficiencies and difficult areas. As the Mandrake rep. and many here have said, the base Linux OS is VERY solid. Is KDE/GNOME better than Windows? Let's face it folks, this is a religious question and one that has NO perfect answer.
In fact, how well you do with either Linux or Windows, or any other operating system or application for that matter, depends on how much time and energy you put forth. I know from personal experience ( I've been a programmer/developer/analyst/DBA for over 20 years ) that Linux is no harder nor easier than Windows, MAC OS, BeOS, etc. I know because it's taken me just as much time to learn the pieces of Linux I've learned as it's taken me to learn the Windows equivalents.
Someone said in an earlier comment that Man pages are a random spattering of information. I think I also saw someone comment on the various documents and instructions available for Linux ( How-to's, etc. ). The quantity of these is HUGE! The quality of everyone I've read has been outstanding! But a simple trip to the local book store reveals 20 times as many books for Windows apps ( and Windows itself ) as there are for Linux apps. and Linux distributions. Plus, so much of the information for Linux is written for techies by techies. This is, and will continue to be, a problem for the average user.
But, we have to face the fact that Microsoft has had a lead on this community. A lead in both calendar time, dollars spent, people time invested, documents produced. Are all of the programs produced by Microsoft and it's partners good? Like has already been said - there is as much crap as there is good stuff. Microsoft has had the benefit of being able to focus a great deal of attention on it's products over the past 15 years. And it's not just Microsoft here. Everyone who writes code for Windows has tried to get attention paid to them.
How long has Linux been in the minds and on the pages of the IT press? Atleast 5 years, based upon my own research. But, we still don't get the same share of eye-balls that Windows tools/products do ( and we may never - but that's not important right now ).
The community needs to keep going forward as we are today! We need to keep evolving the OS parts of Linux. We need to keep creating and expanding the applications available for Linux. We need to continue expanding our user base and mind-share. Someone said they don't want the ease of use the Windows user community requires because it introduces bugs and problems. Of all of the things I've read about this community, the ease-of-use paradigm might be the one thing that causes distribution fracturing.
/Climbing down off of soap box