"As you said the writer is only partially invalid, having such a huge amount of distro's as the GNU/Linux do creates too many incompatibilities at some point, such as the package management systems. I find it stupid to have such a variety, the major distro's could have agreed on a single one or at least create a new one to suit everyones tastes and optimize it.
Also I'm sure some distro's could merge, not only because they could have similar goals but also because bigger developing teams mean faster and better development. The big number of distributions could mean that something may be developed in many distributions at the same time yet the developers are unaware of the fact thus wasting time by doing twice the work they could have done."
Let me tell you a little story, before you try to explain "The Grand Unification Theory" to me again. 386BSD was written mainly by Berkeley alumni Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz. After the release of 386BSD 0.1, a group of users began collecting bug fixes and enhancements, releasing them as an unofficial patchkit. Due to differences of opinion between the Jolitzes and the patchkit maintainers over the future direction and release schedule of 386BSD, the maintainers of the patchkit founded the FreeBSD project in 1993 to continue their work.
Around the same time, the NetBSD project was founded by a different group of 386BSD users, with the aim of unifying 386BSD with other strands of BSD development into one multi-platform system. The project began as a result of frustration within the 386BSD developer community with the pace and direction of the operating system's development. The four founders of the NetBSD project, Chris Demetriou, Theo de Raadt, Adam Glass and Charles Hannum, felt that a more open development model would be beneficial to the project.
In December 1994, NetBSD co-founder Theo de Raadt was asked to resign his position as a senior developer and member of the NetBSD core team, and his access to the source code repository was revoked. The reason for this is not wholly clear, although there are claims that it was due to personality clashes within the NetBSD project and on its mailing lists. In October 1995, de Raadt founded OpenBSD, a new project forked from NetBSD 1.0. After all these years, the three flavors of *BSD are still alive. Some users like one, other users prefer the other for reasons only known to them.
Okay, got that? Now let me tell you another story before you go to bed. It is fairly easy to make a Forth compiler. Hence, virtually every serious Forth programmer has written his own. There are fat, tiny, portable, assembler based, meta-, bytecode, native, standalone, embedded, closed source, FOSS and lots and lots of other Forth compilers. They are standard (Forth-78, Forth-79, FIG-Forth, Forth-83, ANS-Forth) or non-standard. There are so many Forth compilers for every imaginable platform, you'd have a hard time to invent another variation. But I did just that. I didn't find a Forth compiler that was just right for me. So I developed my own, back in 1994. And what do you think? After me, others went through the very same process and invented their own.
It is a natural process. Whenever groups are formed, fractions will emerge. And when those fractions unify for one reason or another, there are others who won't agree, stay behind and found new groups. Well, it doesn't happen to closed source companies, you say? Right, but what keeps those companies together? Power. Money. They own you, you know. In Open Source, nobody owns anybody. If you can't find what you need, if you don't agree with somebody, you make your own. There is nothing or nobody stopping you as long as you are willing to comply with the license.
And that is exactly what is happening in the bazaar. Every merchant has its own product and the users decide. Some of us are both merchant and user, so we've seen both sides. Yes, I won't argue that there is a certain rationality in unification, but (human) nature just doesn't work that way. Would you prefer only one kind of car, one kind of television, one radio channel and one kind of cheese, the kind of cheese your neighbor likes and you detest? Of course not! That's why there is a bazaar. And that is why there is more than one cathedral ;-)