Re: But will they listen?
@Doctor Syntax - "I wonder if MS have looked at the way various Linux distros work and not quite understood what they've seen.", I have to agree. What I see with Linux distros is there is a core such as the kernel where each component is developed at its own schedule. Combined with the relative independence of each component (X could be replaced by something else, desktops are replaceable, browsers are OS independent, etc.) means a the distro developer is not really develop a large amount of code. This has some nice benefits for Linux in that the pieces are more modular with much fewer cross dependencies and what each distro brings to the table is geared to a more specific audience. To replicate this by Slurp would require effectively break Bloat into independent pieces with each piece having its own development path.
You noted that Fedora is geared to help Red Hat develop features for the 'money system'. However Fedora releases are quite polished and ready to use. Ubuntu might be a closer comparison to Bloat. The flagship release is the 'money system'. Ubuntu does something different than Slurp, they have LTS versions intended for the general user and supported for 5 years. The intermediate releases, again while polished, are more to develop features for the LTS versions. But both Red Hat and Ubuntu recognize that some features may need to incubate longer before being ready for the masses.