"One very interesting aspect of Linux on the desktop is the
popularity of each different distribution. Each version has a
number of fundamental similarities with the others, but certain
changes are made to each in order to differentiate them from the
others and to enable that version to fulfill the niche for which it
was designed. These differences are not always tremendous, but they
are enough to allow people to make a definitive choice between one
version and next. This makes much sense as the distribution system
has allowed for the evolution of very specialized versions of
Linux, not all of which are suitable for desktop use, just as it
has been slowly perfecting Linux on the desktop.
"When looking at desktop Linux by itself, any analysis of the
subject quickly leads to this question: why do users choose one
version over another...?"