@JessicaGrant In this regularly but rarely updated article, which is without doubt the most comprehensive list of Linux distributions' problems on the entire Internet, we only discuss their main problems and shortcomings (which may be the reason why some people say Linux distros are not ready for the desktop) while everyone should keep in mind that there are areas where Linux has excelled other OSes: excellent package management within one distro, multiple platforms and architectures support out of the box, usually excellent stability, no widely circulating viruses or malware, complete system reinstallation is almost never required, besides, Linux is extremely customizable, easily scripted and it's free as in beer.
Again, let me reiterate it, this article is primarily about Linux distributions, however many issues listed below affect the Linux kernel (the core of Linux distros and Android) as well.
This is not a Windows vs. Linux comparison, however sometimes you'll find comparisons with Windows or Mac OS as a point of reference (after all, their market penetration is in an order of magnitude higher). Most issues listed below are technical by nature, however some of them are "political" (it's not my word - it's what other people say) - for instance when companies refuse to release data sheets or they release incomplete data sheets for hardware, thus Linux users don't get all the features or respective drivers have bugs almost no one in the Linux community can resolve.
I want to make one thing crystal clear - Windows, in some regards, is even worse than Linux and it has its own share of critical problems. Off the top of my head I want to name the following quite devastating issues with Windows: • devastating Windows rot, • no enforced file system and registry hierarchy (I have yet to find a single serious application which can uninstall itself cleanly and fully), • svchost.exe, • no true safe mode, • no clean state, • the user as a system administrator (thus viruses/malware - most users don't and won't understand UAC warnings), • no good packaging mechanism (MSI is a fragile abomination), • no system-wide update mechanism (which includes third party software), • Windows is extremely difficult to debug, • Windows boot problems are often fatal and unsolvable unless you reinstall from scratch, • Windows is hardware dependent (especially when running from UEFI), • Windows updates are terribly unreliable and they also waste disk space, • there's no way to cleanly upgrade your system (there will be thousands of leftovers), etc.
Probably you've heard many times that Android thus Linux is conquering the entire world since it's running on the majority of smart phones (which are indeed little specialized computers but not desktops). However there are two important things to keep in mind - firstly, Android is not Linux (besides, have you seen anyone running Android on their desktop or laptop?). Android contains the only Linux component - the kernel (moreover, it's a fixed old version (3.0.x, 3.4.x or 3.10.x as for 2016) which is maintained and supported solely by Google). Secondly, Android is not a desktop OS, it's an OS for mobile phones, tablets and other touch screen devices. So, this article is not about Android, it's about a horde of Linux distributions and Open Source Software included by these distributions (called "distro" below).
Miguel de Icaza, the creator of Gnome and Mono, opined about Linux problems in a similar way, here's his opinion where he reiterates a lot of things mentioned below. He stopped using Linux in 2012, saying about his Mac the following, "Computing-wise that three week vacation turned out to be very relaxing. Machine would suspend and resume without problem, Wi-Fi just worked, audio did not stop working, I spend three weeks without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation that my ThinkPad suffered", highlighting problematic areas in Linux. Recently Linus Torvalds expressed his utter disappointment with the state of Linux on the desktop.
Ubuntu developers decided to push Ubuntu as a viable gaming platform and they identified the topics which need to be addressed in order to achieve this goal. Uncannily the list, they've come up with, matches the list, you can read below, almost verbatim. In 2017 Ubuntu (as most other Linux distors) still struggled with GPUs, HiDPI, Network Manager and two dozens of other problematic areas. Fedora chimed in as well.