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Thats a good reply *adds a point to sakru post*
Alot of features I hear about get labled 'for 3.0' then after investigating, there is a realisation that the change isn't so radical as to break compatibility so they can actually merge it into the GNOME 2.x series without major issues.
What I think the issue should be is comparing the different methods of development between Microsoft and the Opensource/Sun/others models.
Opensource make small incrimentalc hanges at rapid pace; in the case of GNOME, new features are added every 6months, not big radical, but small, those that need more time, can be added at the next release.
In the commercial world, Sun do the same thing with their maintanance releases; a release every 6months involves rolling up the tarball with all the fixes they released till that point plus added features - in one of the releases, they made ZFS available for non-root partitions.
Microsoft on the other hand have bundled all their 'new features' into one big release - or more importantly, they'll release' incrimental updates' like IE 7 and Mediaplayer, which would have a negliable impact on their next operating system release, but don't expect incrimental features and improvements over the lifetime of the product - you'll have to wait till the next release of Windows - which is where Vista came unstuck.
Microsoft tried to bolt too many new features onto it, and with something being in development for so long, things outside a company change - security has become the hot topic online now; its now no longer stability as Windows XP already addressed that with the migration to the NT line of kernel - the issue is security and Microsoft is squarely in the lime light, hence the reason they had to start again using the Windows 2003 SP1 codebase rather than continuing on using a bastardised Windows XP one.
For me, I'd sooner see incrimental improvements - ultimately the issues with GNOME and KDE, and *NIX on the desktop have to do more with small niggling problems that can be corrected via small and incrimental updates - it isn't as though *NIX on the desktop is so fundamentally broken that the baby has to be thrown out with the bathwater to actually improve the over all environment.