"Yes, Microsoft's leaning on major PC manufacturers "
Why did not MS do it in the server space too, and let Linux overcome Windows Server?
Anyway Linux didn't became a desktop alternative until well into the 2000s - just look at kernel releases, and desktop managers state - a lot was missing, especially on laptops.
MS business "practices" hurt much more previous competitors, and the lack of applications, which in some area is still an issue, didn't really help - just like the distro fragmentation and companies like Mandrake/Mandriva with the wrong business model.
Also, PC manufacturer today would sell preinstalled whatever they could to improve PC sales. PC manufacturer aren't stupid, if Linux would have sold as much as Windows, they would have said MS goodbye a long ago.
But keep on believing people don't use desktop Linux just because the evil eye of MS...