I’m surprised to hear one couldn’t have revived an old laptop using a linux distro. Ok, that could be some really old laptop. Or some unusual brand… Oh, a macbook? Ok, that could be the answer why NOT to buy some proprietary locked platform with specific HW…8) The user HAD TO BUY another laptop as it was not possible to use the old Apple notebook (again: what if it was an old “PC laptop” from IBM, Toshiba, Asus or any other famous brand? It could be still smoothly running after installing some light linux distro, just like my old thinkpad x40 does).
Speaking about desktop OS,
AFAIK, modern linux support mostly all possible desktop hardware configurations (could NOT be true with Apple=)).
// a reply post to lockergnome.com/news/2012/03/20/why-linux-cant-sell-on-the-desktop/