... 95% of computer users are stuck with Microsoft, and their unmotivated method of trickling out meager improvements. It took them six years to bring us awful Vista, and still Linux has no real answer that turkey. Two years later, we are getting Windows 7, which should have come about in 2003, if Microsoft had competition. Windows 7 is the product of customer gripes about Vista, and the threat of income loss, not of competition from Linux or Apple.
It sounds like what you want is somebody, anybody, to give Microsoft competition so you can have a better Windows. Well, personally, I don't care if you can't get Microsoft to build a better Windows at a lower cost. Some companies have started using the threat of moving their desktops to Linux as a lever to get better pricing from Microsoft. That's fine with me. In business, you do what you have to do, within bounds of course. But I really don't care if they can buy Windows for less or not. It's not my problem.
The part you aren't getting is that Linux is not a commercial product, entity or endeavor. It was never designed or intended to compete with Microsoft, and still isn't. There are some companies, Red Hat, Novell, IBM, etc., that use Linux as a tool in their competition with Microsoft but that isn't what Linux itself is about, and never has been. You might wish it was something different than what it is but that doesn't change anything.
When I said Linux only competes with itself I wasn't talking about the various distros. Linux competes with itself by trying to be better than it is today. Contributors are constantly competing with what exists in Linux, trying to build a better Linux for tomorrow. Actually the distros look to each other for improvements in the way they aggregate and build their offerings. They pass their improvements along, they don't horde them as differentiators. Different distros are aimed at different demographics. In Microsoft's world one size fits all, not so in the Linux world.
Microsoft introduced XP in 2001, and by 2002 Linux, if it had been supported by people who wanted to beat (with financial incentives) Microsoft, would have had a product much better than XP, and made significant inroads among computer users. Instead, it has been tinkered with by people, such as yourself, who find "that competition thing" distasteful.
Again, it sounds like your biggest concern is a better, cheaper Windows, or beating Microsoft, for whatever reason. Linux is owned by a wide community of developers and contributors, not a company with a financial interest. Why would we care about your quoted scenario? I don't much care what Microsoft does with their software. I think they are too poor. They need to raise their prices and really crack down on pirated software.
You missed the mark about "people such as yourself" too. I started a business, raised it from a puppy you might say, owned and ran it for over twenty years. I am a little bit familiar with the advantages of a competitive market place and what it takes to survive and flourish.
Until Microsoft actually is worried about Linux (and has good reason to be), then Linux is a failure.
Now that is a logically twisted statement. How can you possibly define the success or failure of Linux in terms of what Microsoft does or doesn't do? Microsoft isn't a part of anything related to Linux. Your quote would make just as much sense if it was worded:
"Until the Corn Farmers Assoc. in Iowa is worried about the Banana Growers Collective in Brazil, (and has good reason to be), then the Banana Growers Collective is a failure."
You will just have to get used to the idea that Linux is not in business, or in the market place, and was never intended to be.
You are of course free to take Linux and use it in your business of competing with Microsoft if you wish.