World domination instead of Unification
The Unix world has been fragmented for many a year. On the other
side, Microsoft has created some fragmentation of its own from
MS-DOS to W2K.
To overcome the division, attempts have been made to standardise
Unix. From Posix to XPG4 to Unix98, the standardisation process
has been slow and painful.
Linux has contributed little to promote the standardisation process and bring Unices closer together; it is Posix 1 compliant, but so are Open VMS, Open MVS, and WinNT, to name a few.
The Linux community has created its own products like the rival
KDE and GNOME to compete with 'industry standards' Motif and
Open Look. In short, Linux adds to the fragmentation, whilst getting fragmented itself, rather than heading for a union with, say, FreeBSD.
If Linux is overcoming the fragmentation of the Unix world, it is doing so not by bringing all the OSes out there closer together
through standardisation, but rather through replaciement of the many by the one, in the same way as Windows has been seen as the
single solution for the incompatibility problem, encouraging the
others to rally behind the banner of the leader.
Though diversity gives us strength, it is also our weakness.