"But don't take my word for it. Linus Torvalds himself, talking
to DistroWatch Weekly at Linux.conf.au last month, brought up this
point. "I think multiple distributions aren't just a good thing, I
think it's something absolutely required. We have hundreds of
distros, and a lot of them are really for niche markets. And you
need that -- simply because different markets simply have different
requirements, and no single distro will take care of them all," he
said. Sure, Torvalds was talking principally about desktop distros,
but his comments apply equally to servers versions as well. "In
addition, having multiple players just keeps everybody honest and
allows you to compare them. It may all look a bit messy and
complex, but I'd much rather have a multi-party system over a
single-party one. Even if it's more complicated."
"Let's contrast that with the Windows OS market. It looks like a
monopoly. On the desktop side there's Windows Vista, offered by a
single producer, Microsoft. Of course, Vista is offered in a number
of different variants (e.g., Business, Ultimate and Enterprise).
You can argue that by offering variants, Microsoft is not forcing
customers to buy features they don't need, but you can equally
argue that the company is forcing customers to pay whatever it asks
for the features they do need. Either way, the variants are just
that -- variants of the same single product, not different products
in and of themselves."