When I struggle with one of those IM clones, my Windows buddy asks "Why can't you just be normal and use MSN as everyone else?" Same goes if OpenOffice has some problem, why not use MS Office like everyone else. If some web page plugin doesn't work, it's all "sorry we only support Windows and Mac". Everything is your problem, because you choose to be part of so small a minority it can be ignored.
If enough people use it, it becomes their problem and/or opportunity "10% of the market can't use our Windows solution, we're losing money on this as we lose sales and page hits." It's no longer all your problem having to reverse engineer everything and struggling just to keep the desktop usable. People start wanting to *support* using Linux. Poor compatibility with Linux solutions becomes a problem to producers. More people start making web services or cross-platform software.
Some people in the Linux community really do need some wakeup calls, they go around saying Linux is SO ready for the desktop and when newbies point out the ways it's not they get hounded. It's creepy how much it acts like a good cop/bad cop routine the way where some lure them in while others go like "whine whine whine, you contribute nothing and didn't pay for it so STFU" Well maybe the "recruiters" should mention that you'll get treated like dirt and get shit for help too? And not just spout a lot of dogma about the superior open source model...
I use Linux. I use it because I can hack around on it and make it work, it works as *MY* desktop as so many are happy to point out. But I would quite clearly say that many of the things I've had to do to make it work is not for anyone but hardcore geeks. The people here have a huge bias because everyone they know are people that know a Linux geek that can help them out. Without it, most people would be completely and utterly lost.