It´s a real story. My mom don´t like Linux, because think it´s ugly. She don´t know nothing about design, programing, user experience or high resolution things. She simply don´t like what she sees.
She likes to use Windows 7, because it´s look, not because it´s resources. And her opinion it´s so important, because the greater part of computer users are like her, not like the developers. And, to make a OS to be sucessfull, it´s in this kind of user the developers must to be focused.
It´s simple: you have to adapt your product to satisfy the greater number of people.
Knowing what people want
I don´t have all the answers, but I can tell one thing: The resolution of the monitors are getting greater and greater. The HD era is a reality and, if you can´t see that, you can´t create a satisfactory product. The fonts, the icons, and other little things in Gnome and KDE, aren´t good enough for the new monitors, for high resolutions.
When you develop a product, you need to watch, not only your competitors... But you need to know how the consumers will use your products. And make it, thinking in the non-specialists users.
Unless you´re making oil drilling equipments!