Microsoft, going after the mobile market, has (at least temporarily) dropped the assumption the next computer will necessarily be more powerful and capacious than the one before it, and that that will make up for the expansion (or feature bloat) of the OS.
To ensure people would switch to 10, they have gone a long way to make sure it works wherever and whenever it can possibly do so, and even where there are blind spots, the fact that the driver model(s) have stayed essentially the same since Vista, ensures there is a buffer that is basically 10 year long for older device support - I have installed age-old drivers on a number of machines without a single complaint from the OS, and they work flawlessly.
Linux is still struggling in some areas - that is almost unavoidable, because it is a direct consequence of both a) the manufacturers’ approach to hardware support (ranging from Windows first and foremost all down to no support at all, whatsoever) b) Microsoft’s deep pockets, long-standing ties, and commitment to both backwards compatibility (ironically, something that not infrequently hamstrung Windows) and the just works factor.
Linux has always been inferior in certain areas, e.g. graphics drivers. The difference is not so big, in some cases, but may be huge in others.
If that wasn’t enough, I have a creeping suspicion that Windows may have overtaken Linux technologically in certain areas, at least as desktop machines are concerned. We all are aware how ‘the year of Linux on the desktop’ has long been a running joke. However, with Windows having taken a different turn, I feel even less optimistic.
He’s got a point though, because a lot rests on the amount of effort that has been put into making sure that everything works in the best possible way. Limiting the options available to the user, and the scope of use, can potentially carry an increase in performance and smoothness of the UX; by using plain, unadulterated Debian, I have the flexibility of choosing to run, or not run, whatever fancies me - however there is no guarantee that the system has been optimized and tested for the use I’m making of it, and I should be taking matter into my own hands if I wanted to make sure of that.
Anyway, as someone who has used alternative OS’s for a long time, and Unices especially, when everything was supported by ‘unofficial’ developers basing their work either on tech manuals or reverse engineering, these days if you’re running a recent enough, all-Intel system, or close to one, they’ve got you covered.
However, if I had to choose a word to describe hardware support under Linux, compared to Windows, I would still have pick ‘spotty’.
That always used to be the case with Linux, and in the alternative OS scene it’s long been accepted, matter of fact, that you pick the parts according to how well they are supported in your OS of choice, and that you need to take a long look at recently released hardware, whether cutting edge or not, as it may not be supported well or at all, and that situation may take from weeks to years to fully resolve.
To go back to the GPU example, open-source drivers are still far from supporting everything (and in this specific case, newer is more likely to be supported, but not *too *new!), and when they do, performance and features are not likely to be on par with Windows drivers.
At the same time, the proprietary Linux drivers all stop actively supporting, and then drop it entirely, for GPUs older than some, while being inferior by design compared to their Windows counterparts.