Well, my point is that you CAN open that pdf document but it so happens that not with the default application in certain distro (thanks for pointing this out, I will change the settings for that type of file). You might need to do a right-click and then another click but that would render your .pdf as intended. No need to generalise or put it in a way that sounds like "Linux won't open PDF". I take it you knew other software would open that file correctly (KGhostview and KPDF for example) but you didn't bother mentioning it...hence disinformation. Or at the least not a constructive attitude which helps nobody (well maybe M$).
Before I go on into your next paragraph I have to mention though that Adobe Reader 8 in Windows opened that file flawlessly fast too, so no point in doing benchmarks there (at least in the PC I tried, perhaps benchmarking this in older machines would make a point).
Regarding breakness I have been using the debian distro on the Desktop for nearly a year on a E6300 and I have yet to get it thoroughly broken. Sometimes I might have run into dodgy stuff by installing conflictive software from non-debian repositories, but it was very easy to do "apt-get remove nameofproblem" and then either installing another version or look for a replacement.
It is a different way of doing things, but I feel as it is much easier and quicker to tell the computer "install this" or "remove this" than all the parade that Windows makes you go through whenever you want to do samely.
And many a times you can also find yourself with broken Windows due to dodgy hardware/drivers, welcoming you with a BSOD. Yes this can be solved, but you do have to take your time to boot in safe mode and do the deed and restart again hoping for the best.
In the worst case scenario the whole thing will be non-workable and the only viable solution (or the one most widely accepted) is to reinstall the whole thing, which will then take you a good half a day.
You can use Ghost too, but does the average user know how to operate that?
I haven't the time right now to pick on each of these: "poor documentation, unfixed bugs, badly designed code, imitations of other software, poor quality user interfaces" and I don't think it will be worth it as I doubt there's people looking at this that could benefit from this. To make it short:
- Barely anybody makes any proper documentation nowadays and I still have to find people that actually reads it when there is. The software in fact should be engineered for the average user and software not to need documentation (that's why we decided to use icons and stuff after all isn't it?)
- Everybody has bugs (and some of them take forever to fix them, see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/20/more_vista_copying_problems/).
- I dread to think what the code will be like in some applications that have been building on top of the same code for years/decades where the programmers/tools have also been changing.
- Imitation as in the same software but now free of charge, and perhaps faster. Sure that at times it won't be as polished or fancy to the eye...but we also did switch from 35mm to digital photography because it was cheaper and quicker.
- And for dessert I'll mention another Windows parade about the user interface...clearing the recently used documents list. In XP it took me at least 3 times the amount of clicks and a lot more mouse travelling than it did in Gnome. I hope Vista helps that one too, because we should be heading for usability and getting the user rid of nonsense so that he can effectively get on with his/her life.