Instead Linux managed to conquer all the niches (except for the server) only when it dropped this GNU/Linux desktop baggage!
In most cases, the »GNU/Linux desktop baggage« is not being dropped because it stops Linux from being useful but because it is not required on the platform in question and/or it is more expedient to use something else. Android does not come with Emacs, GCC, or GNU Coreutils not because these programs suck in general and must be abolished but because people are unlikely to want to use them on devices that run Android (and it is not that difficult to get them back if one does want them). For devices like routers, it makes a lot more sense to use a web-based GUI rather than something like X11 because these devices have IP connectivity but do not generally include graphical displays – not because nobody would buy a router with a GUI based on X11.
Android could just as well be using APT or RPM under the hood and that would have made precisely no difference as far as its success as a platform is concerned. The Android developers saw fit to do their own thing for whatever reason but people don't pick Android phones on the strength (or lack of such) of the underlying package manager. The same goes for things like X11.
If anything it speaks for the flexibility of Linux that it can adapt to all these different use cases.
then desktop distributions are dying: sure we'll use something superficially similar to today's desktop but it'll not use most technologies which are used by today's desktop!
A Linux distribution like Debian GNU/Linux is not going to go away just because some of the technologies it uses change. When Debian was new, PCs were based on the ISA bus, neither KDE nor GNOME existed, executables were in a.out format and the standard libc was Linux-specific. It is very likely that in 10 or 20 years we will still be running the likes of Debian GNU/Linux on our »desktops«, even if the Debian of the day is based on systemd, Wayland, and all sorts of interesting and useful things that will be developed in the meantime, and running on completely different hardware than a 2013 desktop PC.
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