@ fano: Thanks for your input. I honestly do appreciate your post, and I like looking at several different points of view on computing and operating systems. However, may I reply to a few comments?
Firstly, Linux couldn’t have done this (that is, build a strong, full OS)–it needed a kernel and GUI shell, and more. Linux started as Minix as a command-line environment, and for the most part, still is :), underneath all the eye candy. Taking into consideration how Linux is built would better help you understand why. The core of Linux rests on top of the kernel, and from there, a command-line or the “shell” awaits it’s user. To fix this, the X window system is thrown on top, along with a login manager, along with a GUI shell, and along with applications all requiring hundreds of dependencies. Your average Ubuntu installation with KDE or Gnome requires at minimum, 800 packages installed–most dependencies. This is due to applications being written in at least 5 different languages, and once that’s done, on top of that, they are compiled as Gtk+, QT, or another application type. This is what makes Linux so unstable, and therefore, this both answers your question on why applets don’t work, for instance, and destroys the previous argument that hackers prefer the GUI over the CLI. The CLI is how the base of Linux can be accessed. Furthermore, the programmer does use and enjoy the CLI in any OS, including Windows®, as it gives them full power over their system in situations where the GUI was not designed to. Personally, I think an OS is only half an OS without a text interaction of some kind. I strongly disagree that the programmer prefers all GUI–but I really think the GUI is the future. Users will not use a CLI. They want a simple, point-and-click interface that they can understand without hassle. Programmers should work to make the shell integrate for the user.
Secondly, Linux is and isn’t professional. Linux runs on the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and on most of the smartphones today, thereby making it professional in that field. On i386 or powerpc, however, as mentioned, Linux is not professional by any means–I do not consider Ubuntu or CentOS to be professional. Linux users need to be honest, and realize this is the case.
Thirdly, you had mentioned editions, which would partition the OS. Two computing history examples serve to prove this, respectively. Apple® made the Centris™, Quadra™, Performa™, Power Macintosh™, and other desktop computer products. Until Apple® brought the computer lines into four main product lines, and three classes of computer (notebooks, desktops, mobile) users were confused and sales were down until the introduction of the iMac™. Recently, Windows® has made the same mistake, splitting itself into Starter (that is, the netbook edition), Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, x64, Embedded, Server (which I agree with–that port makes sense), and of course on the side, Phone. Vista™ did poorly because of this, and Apple® gained a huge market share in 2008 and into 2009.
Fourthly, why not make a distro? OpenSolaris™ has about 8-10 distributions, and all it’s users recognize the fact that it is the same OS with different aspects to it. This would help the OS by opening new ways of thinking how to build it and fix bugs. That way, everyone’d benefit.
In conclusion, I think a distro would be a great idea, but that’s just my opinion. I appreciate the post and I honestly do like hearing different points of view–I just wanted to clear up a few points here. I apologize if I was rude.