+Rainer Peter Feller
Well if you use a recent Linux versus a recent windows version, I would expect similar results on a somewhat recent (4 year old computer or newer). Some distros have a shot of working on older hardware over windows 10. As for activation, some distros phone home when you do software updates, or some of the search deals like Canonical had with Ubuntu for awhile. As for the mac hardware argument, I think that's silly. The whole point of MacOS is that it is proprietary and runs on their hardware well. That's the biggest selling feature is that it works.
Personally, I'd like to see more hardware vendors offer diverse product lines around Linux. Dell has a few models with Linux but often hard to get. There are other companies like system76 that have linux hardware and just like macs it's guaranteed to work with at least one linux distro. That's a feature not a pain point.
Back to the privacy argument, I don't think people think about how using windows, mac os, linux or any other OS may interact with various services. iCloud is a way that Macs phone home. apt-get is one way a linux box phones home in the sense it downloads indexes and packages. I don't know how the various servers hosting those things log stuff. To make it more clear, I run a very small BSD project in my spare time and the package tool there downloads indexes and packages from my webserver. I have the IP address of anyone who downloads stuff as well as what they downloaded. I don't have any other personal identification stuff happening but it's certainly possible that I could add that in the future and without code review, no one would catch the possible privacy issue there. That's not anywhere near as invasive as windows or mac service integration. Another example, some OS vendors such as Canonical or Redhat have services to track/audit systems over the internet and that does uniquely identify systems and what is installed on them. Linux is not above this behavior.
To put it in another context, consider a chromebook. It's running a linux kernel and many of them are locked down so that it is difficult to run another OS on them. This isn't much different than the games Microsoft and hardware vendors like Asus play to lock down their hardware for a specific OS. I've been burned by Asus on a desktop motherboard recently which only will boot windows with GPT partitions even with safe boot off. It won't use another key or skip key validation with a GPT partition.