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Linux desktops do not need to look the same everywhere. Sell some KDE here, some Gnome there, some OpenOffice.org here, some KOffice there, Mozilla here, Konqueror there. Users will be happy as long as their systems play their music-files, open their curriculum vitae correctly, display websites fine and have a nice email/pim-application. Highly integrated. Modular.
But that's exactly the problem!
When you "sell some KDE here, some Gnome there", the desktops don't get INTEGRATED and don't advance nearly as fast. Programming effort is divided, third parties wanting to port commercial apps are discouraged, etc. Things are also not integrated.
Let's see an example from server space: Apple, for instance, has a tightly integrated server version of its OS. In it, Apache has an INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT GUI. Now, turn to Linux. After of so many years, with server space being the greatest success of Linux so far, and Apache the no1 unix server, there's nothing integrated providing Apache management on Linux. RedHat may has this half-assed management tool, SuSE some other, but there's nothing integrated with Gnome or KDE as it is (i.e not distro specific). Result? Crappy quality, limited exposure, etc.
Well, in desktop space the situation is even worse.
A great military and diplomatic technique is DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Well, that is exactly what is happening, and guess who does the conquering! The sad fact is they don't even did the dividing, we inflicted it upon ourselves.