Does he get it?
I think he might. The number of times I have been fiddling with some settings in the GUI and then found the rest can only be done from the command line. Or that the command exists, but has no GUI interface. Or an install completes, has a GUI, but does not install and launcher. It's depressing. Or there are multiple versions of a GUI for some tool and they all offer slightly different features, but none actually work and have little documentation.
Command line = FAIL. Total fail. Utter fail.
Yes, I know the command line is powerful (more powerful than the GUI in many ways). I agree that it can also be faster. But it is 100%, pure, undiluted FAIL *if* you are Joe Average who does not have a degree in Comp. Sci. The command is user-hostile (although it's very good once you have trained yourself up). To get anywhere on the desktop Linux needs to ensure that all major configuration can be done from pre-installed and operational GUI apps.
And remember Joe Average is not an enthusiast, he/she does not care how new and funky PulseAudio or whatever is. They just want to get their stuff done. They do not want to download yet another widget that only does half a j a job (case in point, why is there no system-wide graphical equaliser for a Linus OS? BASIC FUNCTIONALITY PEOPLE!)
And get rid to the stupid names. "CatFish"...WTF is that? This is a computer, not an aquarium. "Nautilus"...WTF does that do? "Totem"...any clues there? "baobab"...in the name of god people. If it's a file searcher why not call it, I dunno, "FileSearch"? Or is that just too logical, too usable and too simple?
Should Linux try and win (by "win" I mean, enter double-digit penetration) on the desktop? Yes.
Will it? No. Not if the Linux world keeps going as it is and not for 10-15 years even if they do change.
Should MS have their "exclusive" licensing deals with OEMs blocked? Yes, but don't expect a massive switch even if that does happen; Linux is just too hard for Joe Average.
@dave hands: Here's something else you can't do on Linux; run a decent multi-head system. Let's say a standard TV and a widescreen display. What's that 800x600 and 1600x1050? Can you do that on Linux? Can you heck, X demands a square virtual desktop which is utter shit.
And don't even start me on the fact you can rarely control which screen in primary. That is also utter shit.
This is the kind of simple, basic, VITAL stuff than Windows has nailed (despite the problems with that platform).