To any objective observer the difference between Linux Desktops today compared to ten years ago is how "Windows" the feel is. Contrary to the orthodox expectations. Most people need to feel they are on similar territory when migrating from one OS to another.
It is counterproductive to decry everything Redmond. A recent criticism of Microsoft's Vista as being 'ugly' is just untrue. It may be flawed in that it failed to address the filing system issues it was originally intended for, but it did bring new multimedia handling systems into play and it is the strength of these systems that linux needs to address.
Some distro's are taking a similar licence based approach to their commercial provisions. So Linux is no longer all about 'Open Source' it is becoming about paid for support. If distros like Ubuntu continue to promote the seamless inclusion of applications that the user can get running without all the root logging unpacking tar balling hassle being apparent to the same user. The stronger Linux will become. So go for that desktop feel aim at users who do not meet 'geek' descriptions. Widen the pool and lets all enjoy the water.