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An experience I had in Malaysia in 2005 illustrates one problem. I bought a laptop there with Linux pre-installed. Great, I thought Malaysia is ahead of the US here. But the installation was crap. X didn't work, so there was no GUI! I wiped the garbage that was pre-installed, and loaded Debian. After a little bit of tweaking, everything worked perfectly. The hardware is supported.
The problem is in 6 little words: "After a little bit of tweaking, everything worked." A retailer on razor-thin margins hasn't got the time to do "a little bit of tweaking". He doesn't have to do it with Windows; why should he have to with Linux? Installation does not have to have a fancy GUI (or any GUI). But it does have to work, without "tweaking". And frankly, it mostly doesn't.
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