Linux also provides support for cryptographic security, with the addition of a cryptographic API used by IPSec. This enables multiple algorithms (., SHA-1, DES, Triple DES, MD4, HMAC, EDE, and Blowfish) to be used for network and storage encryption. Linux's ability to support IPSec protocols for IPv4 and IPv6 is a significant advance. With security abstracted to the protocol level, applications are less vulnerable to a potential exploit. Cryptographically signed modules are not yet a part of Linux, but if the issues about implementing such a feature can be resolved it will prove useful in preventing unsigned modules from being accessed by the kernel.
I don't mean to offend, but judging an OS by the small non-essential applications it comes preinstalled with?.. Come on! You named small applications that are so easy to find and install - I can't imagine anyone going for Linux simply because they don't like that Windows comes with IE and doesn't have an email client preinstalled. If one finds it so hard to look for an application online, I don't believe they'll find it easy to use any kind of Linux compared to Windows, especially when they run into problems -- which they most probably will (for example, driver problems) -- and solutions to which are so much harder to find online for an inexperienced user.
And what do you need to read program reviews for? If you're an experienced user, you know what you're looking for. If you're not, your life is not going to get any easier if you switch to Linux because you'll run into other sort of problems. And, by the way, why is it that you need to read reviews for Windows programs, but you don't need to do that when looking for a program for Linux? Simply because you trust that the Software Center's suggestions?