> Linux (desktop) becomes even more fragmented and fails to move the needle at all, yet its heralded a success. What an interesting little corner of the net this is :-)
Linux is on a couple of billion phones, maybe a hundred million tablets, a couple of hundred million 'PC's (desktops and servers) and maybe a billion or more 'devices' (TVs, PVRs, routers, and other embedded) and 95% of Super Computers. It is also a large percentage of mainframes and clouds. Yes, it is a success.
Linux desktop is a success because it has survived and grown in spite of Microsoft trying to kill it as it managed to kill OS/2, BeOS, Novell, WebOS, and many others. It is also a success because those systems that it is on have been a deliberate choice rather than a forced default caused by a lack of other options.
> and evidence of a slow, lingering death.
It is the desktop itself that is a slow, lingering death, as evidenced by the sales figures.