The change is towards tighter integration between components of the operating system. In many ways this apes proprietary systems, and reduces the flexibility we have to roll our own solutions to strange problems. I think the value of that flexibility is being missed as the core, paid developers fix on the "desktop with a web browser" use case.
It's becoming more and more difficult to reject components of the stack that aren't fit for a particular purpose; systemd, pulse, dbus, PackageKit, abrt, etc. These tools all expose a complex interface that can't be easily emulated by another package, or just shimmed out.
It makes it easier for the people writing the desktop, but harder for people doing unusual things where they might want to reject one or more of those components.