They were real programmers, i.e. paid to work on their project 5 days a week. Pay the current developers of Tux the same and you would see the difference.
I totally agree with you that Linux for the desktop has taken a turn for the worst and I too, have a hard time promoting it. One can read about my bad experience at: http://www.deragon.info/ubuntu.... I describe most of my problems with screenshots and bug reports, the latter which get mostly never resolved.
Cannot give you the details because I am no expert, but under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Thar, I have no force feedback on my Logitech joysticks and wheel, with any game. I recall reading that the Linux driver for force feedback is immature, but I cannot find the article. Also, Logitech controllers, I believe, use a proprietary protocol.
That is one of the problems for SteamOS; lack of controller support. SteamOS does not support force feedback yet, AFAIK.
If Red Hat goes after some Desktop market, it is for specialized, corporate markets. Not for general consumers and surely not on laptop.
As for Canonical's resources, I guess they are split half and half between the server business and consumer business, the server business fuelling the consumer initiative. Currently they are focusing on the tablet / smartphone. Desktop is pretty largely pushed aside for the moment; this is obvious by the low quality (numerous bugs) of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
Fedora LTS version is RHEL which is expensive, though they could install CentOS
But manly, it is a laptop and not a server they are selling. RedHat has never been interested in selling a desktop solution (just to contradict me, I believe that recently they have a workstation version comming up). Ubuntu is first and foremost concentrating on the Desktop experience. Steam supports Ubuntu, not Fedora. Ubuntu is what is closest to Windows and Mac as for support. It had wifi connection via GUI two years before Fedora got it.
And if you do not like Unity, you can try Gubuntu. It should look familliar to Fedora as it runs Gnome 3.
You are thinking server. Linux is also about the desktop. And you will shutdown your laptop more often to preserve battery, particularly on laptops where unfortunately, suspend to ram is not working.
Same for a console like SteamOS.
What is promissing is that any game that would be running under SteamOS could also run under Ubuntu, a general purpose distribution for which you can install many desktop applications. You cannot do that on Android or iOS.
Unfortunatly, us Linux users are stuck with flash 18.104.22.1682 as Adobe has abandonned the plateform, unless you use Chrome. We are not moving fast enough away from flash...
Once my car get rusted, can it be recalled? The recalls only concerns safety. For anything else that fails without puting in peril safety will never be recalled.
I believe you need a VM if you are running the latest version 2010 as most of the applications are only rated bronze. And as far as I can tell, you cannot purchase an older version as is it no more available.
The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.