Heck, the last time Windows was my main OS was in 2007 or so, and I still think in terms of "Alt-Tab" with the Command button replacing Alt (since I'm in OSX). (And the never-disappearing menu bar, and the inability to tab between windows, and the fact that the maximize button is broken, still bugs me).
I'm pretty sure none of the nontechnical users mentioned here would be willing to do that.
Ubuntu moved lots of configuration to the GUI, making it easily discoverable and usable for people who don't already know where to look for things. Ubuntu may be sucky, buggy and inflexible, but it's much easier to use than old-style GNU/Linux.
End users don't want easy HDD partitioning and easy WiFi configuration - they want to avoid them altogether, and have everything work out of the box.
Interesting, I never thought this way.