Thanks for the post sushi. While I think that the Office suite and the Adobe suite may prevent potential users of free operating systems from switching from Windows, there isn't much anybody can do about that.
People have tried again and again to create free as in freedom alternatives to such softwares which outperform the originals but you just can't take their brand and slap it on. In that regard I am hopeful in the efforts of the Wine project as even if not on production level, they managed to make the Microsoft Office suite run quite well.
I do not mean to be mean yet I think that desktop Linux is going to be relatively niche as long as it assumes that the user of the system knows a thing about what they are doing. I apologise for sounding cynical but I think that the average Windows user doesn't know a thing about what they are clicking and doesn't expect to have to do so.
And I do not mean that in a bad way, I am not criticising or accusing anyone of being alliterate or "a sheep". I just think that the general attitude towards computing has changed. I personally believe that many people have stopped wanting to have to know the computer. I will attempt to not jump to early conclusions but I believe that many current users just want to do fairly analog work cheaply and effeciently with the least amount of thought possible. This makes the Windows ecosystem an excellent candidate a lot of the time.
Windows uses an extremely easy visual UI design style that unifies most programs and presents the user with an extremely simple control scheme. Almost everything is present as a button/a left-clickable object with at least some written description built-in, with the keyboard having to be used for only a very small subset of tasks. This allows an uninterested user to just pick up the computer, do what the PC tells the user to do and go on with their work. Of course, there are some options for the case you need to alter how the system behaves but everything is presented in such a sandbox of dialogs that the uninterested user is able to solve most of their problems by following the system's orders and tutorials, without ever having to touch the deeper layers of the system or understanding how it works.
I am sorry to end on such a downer but I believe that as long as the community will continue to expect the users to nPost too long. Click here to view the full text.