Re: BTW have you ever installed Windows onto fresh hardware
Yes, quite often. On systems bought piece by piece and hand assembled by me. There were a few inflection points where the install was quirky, but mostly if you weren't installing 5 year old software on current hardware it just worked.
No, I haven't tried OpenSUSE recently, it may be just as easy. But some of the reasons people like Windows are things the Linux community doesn't want. To be honest, most home users a looking to have at least flash and possibly java installed so they can play their simple but entertaining internet games.