I have to agree with the other comments
Vista desktops and laptops don't sell because generally people aren't stupid enough to buy them.
Why would you want to run a computer at 2/3rds the speed its capable of? Sometimes less.
Why would you want to continually answer useless security questions - whose only purpose seems to be to condition users into accepting any request that comes their way? Sort like the ActiveX issue on steroids, only this time they'll be conditioned into giving whoever asks admin privileges.
Why would you want to cripple the performance of basic tasks like file transfer - sometimes taking hours instead of minutes to copy a few hundred megabytes of data?
Vista is complete shite. But it looks good - and Microsoft are inviting everyone to experience the WOW. Yeah, WOW this is taking so long, WOW this doesn't work any more, WOW my machine is so shit now. But I like the bubbles... and I've always been distracted by shiny objects so I'll ignore everything else..
Bottom line is if Acer went back to XP - but this time include a proper install CD with their systems - they will probably see their sales pickup quite quickly.
Linux isn't the answer - not unless the mass market decides to ditch Microsoft altogether. I'll admit that would be nice, but it's not happening at the moment. It might in 5 or so years, if Microsoft can't fix Vista by then. If XP doesn't get replaced with something worth having in the next 5 years, it will become so dated you may well see corporate buyers considering Linux, Apple or just about anything that appears to work properly.