When you take a copy of Windows XP, Vista or Mac OS X and you install it onto a system with the appropriate system requirements, chances are (..) [it] will work just fine.
That implies that if you install Linux on a system that does meet the appropriate system requirements it will work not fine. Let's see what the system requirements of OS/X are:
Mac server or desktop computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 1GB of physical RAM; 20GB of available disk space.
That's not a vanilla PC, isn't it? It's actually rather particular. Here are the system requirements of Red Hat. Does Adrian Kingsley-Hughes have an example of a system like that that did not properly run Linux?
While Linux communities like to believe that this 0.7 per cent user base is bigger than it is, and some companies are now paying lip service to Linux, no matter how you look at it, 0.7 per cent is a small number. And even with the best will in the world, the amount of effort that vendors can seriously be expected to put into Linux, given the low market share, is not much.
That is true where the desktop is concerned, but it is not true for the server market, which will be a whopping 38% in 2008. The desktop takes the same kind of hardware as the servers take. It has the same architecture. So the knowledge that vendors have can be applied to desktops as well with much ease.
Sure, you can buy software players, some of which are rather good, but the advantage of a free OS starts to be eroded if you instantly have to put your hand in your pocket.
I don't know why the moment you buy a piece of software, all the advantages of a free OS are instantly vaporized. Is all commercial software for Linux that much more expensive than that of their MS-Windows or OS/X counterparts? And I don't see the erosion as well. Are you put on a black list the moment you buy a piece of software, so you have to buy all the software? Is there more and more free software going commercial?
I know what Adrian means. He means to say that you get the Operating System for free and probably your only motive for doing so is because you don't have to pay anything. The moment you begin to pay for software that argument becomes null and void. First of all, I paid for most of my Linux distributions for the simple reason I like shiny CDs and nice manuals. Still, the most expensive version cost me less than half than the most basic MS-Windows version. Second, when using MS-Windows you have to buy a helluva lot more software than when you first login a Linux system. Unless you're prepared to search on the web for FOSS software, of course, like OpenOffice.org and Gimp. Talking about hidden MS-Windows cost ;-). Finally and most importantly, the main reason to run Linux is not because you don't have to pay for it. Security, performance and stability come to mind, to name a few. Oops, I forgot to mention to avoid harassing and spying on your own customers.
You've promised someone that Linux is so much better than Windows. If you get a really obscure error message or particularly weird problem, you could be waiting for help for a long time.
The same applies for MS-Windows. There are numerous examples on the web where people have to wait for official MS-support. When I wrote about this some time ago in a humorous way, there were even people who took it serious because of their own experiences. So, even if this statement is true, the only real difference is that Linux community support is free.
When Apple's ad campaigns focused on the single Leopard version being easier for consumers than the myriad Vista choices, the company was onto something there. Too much choice is a major turn-off.
Sigh.. Why do IT people love monopolies and dictators so much? Do we have a certain "totalitarism" gene that is turned on by default? This statement always makes me think of an extra feature on the Borat DVD, where Borat points out every single brand of cheese on the shelf and asks the stunned grocer whether this is cheese as well. After five minutes Borat blurts out: "Why do you need so many kinds of cheese?".
If you happen to find this funny, you will understand why I consider Adrian to be one of the worlds funniest people, coming only slightly behind the great Borat himself. Allow me to rephrase that: "choice is a bad thing, because choosing is confusing for the consumer". Hmm, I think we should consider another economic model, because Americans are denied the privilege people had in the former Soviet Union: no choice. Now I understand the true meaning of his last words "It's easy to allow that word 'free' to overwhelm the senses" ;-)