Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Linux has changed almost beyond recognition since version 1.0 in 1994 and Ubuntu is about as polished and professional as it gets. It's approaching the level of polish of Mac OS X, is faster and easier to install than Windows, includes a whole suite of apps and offers tens of thousands more, runs on cheap commodity hardware and costs nothing.
Nobody knows quite how many Ubuntu users there are - it's not sold or licensed, there's no registration process and it doesn't "phone home" and identify itself, so it's hard to tell. Its creators reckon around 12 million, but then, the number-two distro on Distrowatch, Fedora, claims about twice as many.
So with over a billion PCs in the world, why are only about 0.01 per cent using the best-known Linux desktop?
Two related pitfalls mean that most people who try it may well find that certain things don't work.