I personally really don't care at all for the ridiculous glassy look of Aero in Windows 7; it's ugly to me.
I think the biggest problem with Linux is that many people plainly prefer what they're used to. Additionally, if you're a so called Windows "power user" you have vested more knowledge in the Windows ecosystem - specialized knowledge that is useless in the Linux world. An older person doesn't have this specialized knowledge, computers are all the same to them. THAT'S why it's easier for them to switch. They're used to being n00bs and knowing little about the OS they're using. It really doesn't matter which OS it is.
You're rather rude there. I don't agree with what you said and I can say the same thing about your statement. I know plenty of people my age with Linux experience that don't use it as their primary OS precisely because of the UI. And no, they don't want to waste time on config files with a WM, they did that when they were 16-18. And BTW, I was talking about Windows 8, not 7.
Yes, you may not agree when I say Windows (7) looks butt ugly -- and that was my point. It's all quite subjective.
Linux has a big advantage, though, in that you can quite easily switch between different Desktop Environments and/or Window Managers. Configuring the look and feel of your desktop is just a lot easier. And config-file time wasting is entirely optional, I promise.
I find it ironic that you talk about wasting time on config files. My experience in Windows is that doing anything beyond the 10 tasks Microsoft determined to be common results in hours of clicking through menus, configuration dialogs, and in some cases dealing with the registry editor. Trying to troubleshoot a problem is a nightmare. Trying to set up something unusual is beyond a nightmare.
Personally I've never cared for Microsoft's design. XP always looked chunky and gaudy to me - I hated it. Aero looks unfinished compared to Compiz (but part of that might be down to the fact that Linux has been doing desktop compositing for years before Windows finally caught up). And Windows 8 just looks like Microsoft forgot the last 2 decades of OS design and reverted back to the 320x200 days of square windows, square widgets, etc.
So I'm happy you find Microsoft's design to be your particular eye candy, but don't patronise us by arguing that this preference is fact.
It's what Ubuntu should be, its what Windows 8 should be! it's classic and yet functional and customizable, both my parents laptops are using it as UI and I hear no complaints.
If we ignore the metro side of things, I agree with you however.
Yes, absolutely. My start screen is an empty, blue wall with a large tile taking me to the desktop. Despite the start screen I like everything else about the system.