Re: The thing about Linux Desktop
The problem in Linux/GNU are many, too many to list in this one or several comments. But one among those problems is lack of direction, even among the open source companies. Since they just take the vanilla packages and make small changes to them and send it along its way.
The reason for instance why I use Gentoo Linux is that at the time (2003) it was the most manageable distro of Linux/GNU to use. I had to learn it from start at the time, since I had not been into Linux or Unix environment at that time.
Then there are other problems, like unresolved bugs. Linus throwing tantrum at developers and other such issues (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/05/torvalds_sievers_dust_up/). It does not help in the long run and damages the workflow (seriously, it does do that).
When it comes to *BSD the problems are different. Lack of direction is not the issue there, but as you mention, in part due to lack of manpower and support from hardware companies. There also seems to be, at least in part to be a lack of will of moving forward. Hardware development has moved forward and today's computers are based on UEFI standard that has made the old BIOS standard obsolete. That issue was not address until it was too late in Linux/GNU and it's still a major problem in some distros (I switched to Lilo in Gentoo Linux to in part avoid the problem with GRUB2 and UEFI). I don't know the status in *BSD, but it might well be that they have moved things more along then Linux distros.
For instance, there seems to be a growing problem in KDE development and it is only getting worse as the time passes (article: https://ask.slashdot.org/story/16/08/21/0327239/ask-slashdot-is-kde-dying).
GNOME is not doing any better, I however had problems finding articles about it.
Sure, Microsoft has major problems them self, so does Apple. With all the mess that is going on in the world today, the major software companies are going to have issues and often they make policies (as Microsoft has done, http://www.computerworld.com/article/2878026/microsoft-to-business-dont-worry-about-windows-10-consumers-will-test-it.html), current polices on several matters are just plain stupid and dangerous.
Linux has great usage in many fields. For instance my router runs a Linux based operating system and so does my mobile. The thing about Desktop usage is that it is focused on one task, that is generally watching video, playing games. There isn't much else in Desktop usage for people, the nerds and the geeks have there own special usage that falls slightly outside of this category, but not by much.
I can also add, one of the problems with KDE Plasma 5 is that they didn't even bother to include a log-in manager as they did with older versions of KDE. Now I have to run lightdm log-in manager, I did try to run SDDM log-in manager but it is so buggy that is in fact useless. That's no good for the Desktop user or anyone making distros for desktop usage.
There is always going to be a market share for open source desktop. That is not going to change the current state its in. Things might improve in the future and I hope it does, but until then, this is going to be a big mess.