Nope! Apples and oranges. Not a valid analogy.
I was not trying to make a direct comparison between Windows & Linux. I fully realize they are apples & oranges. My point was that people always whinge about the confusing number of Windows editions when Microsoft plainly publishes a comparison chart listing out every difference between the different versions.
However, trying to find such a comparison chart lining out all the differences between the different Linux distros is a little harder to find.
Most distros only differ in the default settings chosen, the kernal version, and which software gets included in the standard installation package. ALL distros are capable of running any GNU/Linux software and supporting any feature found in any other distro. The differences are therefore mainly cosmetic.
Why, yes. Yes, they do. So why do we need so many of them?
Different SKUs and versions represent different capabilities in Windows. Anything below the current Ultimate or Enterprise edition represents a version of Windows with an increasingly reduced or disabled feature set.
Differences in distros are examples of differing personal preferences in an OS and desktop environment. Differences in Windows versions are manifestations of a granular pricing strategy on the part of Microsoft.
So what you are saying is that Microsoft makes different versions of Windows to market different features to different markets. That makes sense...since they are a for-profit company.
You are also saying that distros are different due to configuration preferences. Why do there need to be so many different distros when a simple install wizard would cover 99% of all preferences in configuration?
But to your point, yes...there probably are far too many distros out there!
Yes, there are without any good reason for there to be. A good example is Ubuntu vs. Kubuntu....the only major difference is one has Gnome & one has KDE. Include both and put forth a choice in the install wizard!!
One distro's need eliminated.....4,000 to go.