From an entirely end-user point of view, it’s hard to argue with some of the Cons. The hardware acceleration issue doesn’t crop up in my immediate use on a personal level since I’m a multi-OS person with a specific end goal for my time spent on Haiku- productivity. For everyday users and potential gamers and developers attracted to the OS, though, this is a hurdle that I’m sure Haiku will be able to deal with.
We see the same issue with Linux historically; in the beginning (and seventeen years of development or not, the Beta really does mark the beginning of Haiku as far as the general public is concerned) it had incredibly limited hardware support, to the point there were tools to determine whether your system could run Linux at all or not. A growing user base, though, translates into a greater support system and a more well-rounded batch of drivers and kernel support for hardware. It may take a full release or two for this to pick up speed, but it will come, and hopefully those releases will become more regular and timely to show the community at large there’s a good reason to build on the support side than just complaining about the lack of support or opining on how to hack it together.
The browser issue is a problem for end-users. PulkoMandy does good work on WebPositive, but a full featured browser is a lot for one person to manage. In the 6+ months I’ve been using Haiku I’ve seen good growth there, and while it might not be Firefox or Chrome, I do find myself using WebPositive more than Qupzilla now, as it does work a lot better than it used to.
I’m not sure Con #4 is much of a Con as it is a question that hasn’t been clearly laid out for the layman yet. Haiku offers quite a bit that Windows and Linux do not. Stack and Tile alone are great end-user features that don’t get quite enough hype in these articles. The GUI might not seem the most up-to-date when compared to the look and feel of Gnome and Windows 10, or the cultish love even regulars here seem to have for the big animated mess of a dock MacOS uses, but the handling and controls around it around it are great and responsive.
Unfortunately, though, when it comes to attracting Windows users it’ll always be an uphill battle with hardware support and gamers, and when it comes to attracting Linux users they’ll be looking for customization and software alternatives that perform in a manner they’re used to getting from Linux’s community. While the latter will certainly come in time for Haiku as well, the former is going to be on everyone’s minds for a while and will continue to show up in press reviews of the OS as benchmarks of usability.
Haiku’s team are not stupid, though, they’re skilled coders working with what time they have to make something they’re passionate about, and I don’t doubt they’ll keep plugging away at these issues. The key, though, is going to be explaining why these issues exist in the first place and keeping the press informed about how development happens and how inclined persons can get involved. As it grows from Beta on, it’s going to take more than the current handful of devs to maintain the project and see that these things are addressed quickly enough to keep the appearance of moving forward to attract users and new devs.