Not "universally" disliked, but
The majority don't and are being herded (as in with a stick) to adopt it. I've used Linux for Ohhh.. 13 years or so now. It all started when a M$ W2K update borked my PC. I bought a Linux Magazine with Mandrake 10 on the front cover, Windows was working, so it became a dual boot machine for awhile, the rest is history.
Something a Windows user must suffer through is Activation, not that activation itself is so inherently difficult, but that you need to do it at all is the problem. Windows activates by imprinting on specific hardware, like a baby bird imprints on it's mother. Trouble is if that hardware changes too much you have to reinstall and reactivate. Painful.
Contrasting this with the speed with which a Linux machine can get back into productive use should hardware (like the Motherboard) decide to pack it in, is truly astonishing. It happened to me just this past Tuesday.
An ASUS MB decided it would post and pass all RAM checks, but never boot. Chilling some chips down got it to ALMOST boot, but something has decided to pack it in so it's toast.
The system had to get back into service quickly. To this end;
- Swap out the motherboard for one that works
- Power it up
- X failed to start; it couldn't find a graphics card at the old PCI address. (DOH!)
- Use lspci to get the new address of the graphics card
- Edit Xorg config & change the graphics card address.
- Type "startx" at the command prompt aaaaand.... everything works.
Total time spent working on the system?, Two hours (including sourcing another MB).
- No activation
- No software re-installation
- No loss of functionality, in fact the new CPU is a bit faster.
Do THAT with a Windows PC!