Vista and Kubuntu - easy installs, uneasy comparisons

Today I've finished installations of two very different operating systems, Vista and Kubuntu. Both are essentially trying to accomplish the same thing, which is to provide desktop users a satisfying and relatively seemless desktop computing experience. Both succeed to a certain degree and both fail in some important areas. The question is why?

You would think that after nearly a quarter of century of mouse driven GUIs and billions of dollars of research, desktop OS developers would have got it right by now. Apple pretty much has achieved this by tightly integrating and controlling both the hardware and software. However, the story is very different with Microsoft and the various Linux camps.