Re: It works...
"It makes me wonder, who the hell actually wants mass adoption of the Linux desktop?"
Utterly this. As I've mentioned a few times myself whenever we have the usual penguinista mutual masturbation-fest whenever all Linux distros combined gain 0.0002% market share in a year (yay, finally the ascendancy has begun), or when a new MS OS 'only' picks up 1% market share in a month (haha, microsoft finally doomed, etc).
Who cares about desktops? I mean, really? Linux runs about half the world's actual computers. Not desktops. Proper computers being used for everything from industrial control devices to cash machines to mobile phones to about a third of webservers to 70% of the routers used to link them all together. Linux does not need desktops to be successful, which is good because Linux is simply not going to get them. Sorry guys, but for the 20th year running it's turned out not to be TYOLOTD after all, no matter how many times we're told Mint is now better than Windows (it isn't for a lot of reasons, mostly due to the distro itself rather than Linux) or Ubuntu is poised to take over the universe (no, it's not).
The Year of Linux on the Desktop is a ridiculous notion and a preposterous yardstick to measure Linux by. I'm sorry, guys, but end-users like Windows. They like familiar UIs which do stuff for them automatically. They don't care that MS is hoovering up their data, since thy're using the PC to Google Facebook and then order an Uber so really, what's another hand in the data till? The battle is over. Microsoft won and no-one even remotely challenges them in the space. A massive MS flop like Vista or Win 8 will still end up with 5-6 times as many users as all desktop Linux distros combined.
The point here isn't that MS is better or that Linux sucks or anything like that - the point is Linux doesn't NEED to value itself by whether it can compete on the desktop. I'm fairly sure Linux is doing poorly in the performance tires market too, but it's completely irrelevant. So are desktops. I don't think desktop is dying, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all of computing anymore and it's not something Linux is really useful for. 99% of desktops are being used by people who do not need any of the cool advantages Linux has over Windows and will be a lot happier sticking to what they have.
The fact that OSX (the ultimate poor relation in the space) has more traction than Linux in the desktop market really ought to tell you that this section of the market isn't looking for a highly flexible and configurable OS (just as Linux' unstoppable rise in the server market says that section IS looking for that). Let's instead start talking of the Year of Linux on the Device, because THAT has been pretty much every year for a decade.