Firstly I do not give Linux a bad name. By my previous post I was not trying to sound intimidating OR elitist, and apologise if that is how I came across.
I was responding to the author's inference that he was thinking of abandoning an operating system distribution purely on the basis of the web browser that came with it. I was outlining the difference between the core of the operating system and the software that you run on top of it.
I have helped plenty of people with the switch to Linux, and surprisingly, I did not bite their heads off.
I do have exposure to smaller children, since I have younger sisters and a brother. All of which have not had a problem with Linux. The real issue here is that Linux and Linux software is _different_ than that on Windows. Unfortunately some people will just reject something, purely because they cannot be bothered to find out how to get it to work. And problems with Linux can be solved by using google.
While Linux is approaching the stage where it will be super easy and everything will just work, there are issues that are not the fault of Linux or the software running on top of it. The lack of support for Linux from proprietry software houses is one of these issues. Especially when they provide plugins and software which are inferior to the equivalent available on Windows.
I myself started using computers when I was 8 years old using Windows 3.1, and have used Windows far longer than Linux. (Ten years of Windows, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, XP). I switched to Linux two years ago, there were *many* things which didn't work as expected - however most of these issues have now been fixed. I didn't immediately think of moving back to Windows. I learned Linux in my spare time. People seem to forget that they had to *learn* Windows in the first place. And there are bound to be some hiccups along the way.
Finally, while I refer to my machine as "running Linux", Linux *IS* just a kernel. I could just as well be running the X server and KDE on top of FreeBSD, or OpenBSD, or another *NIX. But I do understand why he refers to the system as Linux. Linux is just a kernel, but the kernel is arguably the most important part of the OS.