Well, if you'll recall that it's all about pretty pixels then you'll know that what GNOME or Mozilla did is what Joe Average expects from a major release. They may like change, they may not like change, but they expect it. Ribbon, more convex buttons (or, may be, totally flat buttons), etc - this is what defines "major release" for Joe Average. When guts are totally revamped but UI is mostly the same they come out disappointed.
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