This sounds like one of those discussions where someone hasn't used Linux for more than ten minutes in the past year, but knows in detail how bad it is. In other words, it's not true to my experience.
As for XP, it works. Enough said. Praising documentation presumes people read it. "Normal" users tend not to go there.
As for Linux,
— Renegade root users run amok?
Not for me, but then I'm running it with lots of memory on a Quad-core.
— Normal users have little reason not to run Windows? Hmmm.... when compared directly with Windows, I can think of a few:
- Viruses and Spyware (no need to buy any of that; and viruses are nil)
- Security and Stability (ahhh, it does what I want it to, when I want to do it. What a difference!)
- Package Management (software installation that doesn't hork your system or leave its trash behind)
- Features (Linux is often at the forefront of computer technology and innovation, and is scalable to any device of any size.)
- Compatibility (Linux runs on anything, old, really old, or new.)
- Free as in freedom (Linux is free open source software. This might not mean much to you if you are not a programmer but even if you are just an end user it means you can trust the software. Governments want to see -- and control -- the source code they use. You should have the same opportunity.)
- Free as in price, (and a treat in this tragic economy)
- Easy and Intuitive (a 15-min. installation sets everything up for you, including OpenOffice, codecs, PDF reader, multimedia, and utilities. Want more? Want to customize? Then it gets fun.)
- Choice and Control (Run what you want, how you want to, and customize until your eyes bleed. If I want to move to another distro, I'm free to without cost. I can legally set it up on as many machines as I want, no charge, no license, no activation, no validation schemes, no forced updates.)
- Community (Everyone using Linux does so because they choose to, not because it came on the machine. People develop Linux because they have a passion for it, not because they do it for money or market share.)
- Fun! (I haven't had this much fun on a computer since Win95.)
I could think of at least 20 more off the top of my head, but you get the point.