For a bunch of my family members, even simple errors mean almost nothing to them. They'll stop what they're doing and wait for help even on an error that (it seems to me) they could have simply read and addressed themselves. They've never examined the system tray, and dismiss any popups that come from it. Making them aware of systems like this only serves to confuse, because they don't really understand the problem it's addressing in the first place.
Machines for power users aren't going away. There are more operating systems than you can shake a stick at, and the number keeps growing. But for a lot of users information can be paralysing, and I wonder if having a strongly managed and simplified system akin to a phone isn't a better idea.