I welcome this initiative. It's high time FLOSS distributions people started re-examining their consumer strategy. However Mike McGrath is not going far enough.
Today's Linux success was built on it's network orientation. At a time when others were still trying build some network genes (Windows) or adapt from Company/Campus network mindset to WWW mindset (legacy unixes, all the technical bits available but no turnkey solution) Linux proposed a complete pre-packaged WWW-ready solution (that became better known as LAMP). You can still install today this stack on all the major Linux systems in 5s of apt-get/yum install.
This was sufficient to make Red Hat and Suse the big Enterprise computing actors they are today.
However, it was *not* sufficient to make Linux a big consumer success. Because consumer computing demands yet another level of turnkey integration. Just like 2000-era legacy unixes demanded too much work to assemble existing bits into a turnkey solution, the 2000-era linuxes were not a consumer turnkey solution.
Thus, Red Hat and Suse looked at the consumer market, (correctly) assessed they were not ready for it, and refocused on the Enterprise, while funding the efforts of several teams to try to eventually crack the consumer Linux problem.
Those teams looked at the Linux software stacks, saw nothing that looked like the consumer software king's offerings (Windows), and decided to rebuild from scratch a new Desktop stack, modelled after Microsoft and Apple products.
They are still at it today.
It has been a massive failure.
Somehow, along the way, people forgot the point was to reach the consumer, not clone Windows and OS X.
Interestingly, Google targeted the same consumer market, but chose a radically different strategy. They didn't expend resources on building a Desktop clone. They took the traditional Linux enterprise/network stack and pushed it another level, making it consumer-ready. The Android gadgets that are flooding the consumer market now are succeeding where other Linux-based efforts failed, and they do so without trying to clone Windows/OSX.
It is not incidental that Oracle is suing Google now. Google took the good points of Java (huge software library, lots of developers), dumped the bad parts (terrible system integration) and managed to commodise it, making it a hit.
At the same time Linux consumer people frowned at Java (Enterprise stuff not fit for the desktop, not interesting) and Linux enterprise people ignored its problems (what if it needs hours of J2EE server setup before anyone can use it, other Enterprise OSes have the same problems) and completely missed the boat.
But it is not too late.
Linux consumer people need to re-assess all the Enterprise/Network heritage of Linux, and think of ways to re-purpose anything which can be of consumer use in the consumer space (for example, NetworkManager people finally realized that ISP DNSes sucked big ways, and that they've been sitting for years on perfectly fine DNS implementations which could be used to short-circuit the ISP DNSes and make Linux a better consumer system). You can't afford to put a blind eye to what Enterprise people do. You "simplified" your problem by ignoring non-desktop computing for years, and that's why you were not the ones who released Android.
Linux Enterprise people need to work harder at streamlining their components, and not stop at the "good enough for the Enterprise" level. In 2000 one could install a state-of-the art LAMP stack on Linux. Since then many new elements were added in Enterprise computing. Most of them can still not be installed natively in Linux systems (mostly, because they've been written in Java and Linux people have been complacent about Java integration). That was the thinking of the legacy unix vendors before Linux people ate a lot of their lunch.
A streamlined Enterprise stack will make Linux once again the natural platform for writing Enterprise apps (and not just a "as bad as others, but on cheaper hardware" solution, others can release x86 solutions and Google most definitely will eventually).
A streamlined Enterprise stack will make it easier for consumer Linux people to pick the good bits for their own needs. A lot of thought has been extended in the Enterprise space to make multi-server computing work, the natural Linux answer to the cloud should be to make multi-desktop system work together without depending on huge system farms controlled by more or less "evil" entities. Those farms do not exist because they are a requirement to fulfil consumer needs. They exist because they are a requirement for the data-mining the builders of those farms engage on.
Linux consumer people need to stop thinking in 2000-era client/server terms, with their part limited to the client one (consuming web services and web apps hosted gods know where), but start producing internet-exposed apps that can be consumed by desktop peers. Yes a network service makes your system a "server". No it does not need to be a "server" in Enterprise computing terms. Please invent consumer network services. Please invent network services people can apt-get/yum install on their systems, sharing computing with friends, instead of continuing to focus on the client part, with the smarts moving the other side of the network link. Especially when this other side is slowly but steadily reducing the Linux part to basic platform needs.