It's easy to assume that having extremely stringent standards will limit flexibility and usually that's the case. But all of the weird creatures on this planet are based on one well defined standard, DNA.
So the problem [Kirk, buy a new keyboard] with Open Source software and a lack of progress due to the need for "choices" is really just a counter productive backlash against the MS monopoly that has been suffocating innovation in the software industry for so long.
Open Source programmers are like prisoners who've suddenly been released from prison and are so happy to see sunlight that they get 3rd degree sunburns. Choice is good, open standards are good. We just need to choose some standards. A quote from Abe Lincoln about democracy that I think applies to the democratic nature of Open Software. "It is unworthy and ultimately untenable to have the most basic questions settled-and unsettled-by votes. The nation needs a foundation more durable than the sand of opinion that can be easily shifted in each election" The basic quesions in this case are of the kernel, ALSA, and in my opinion the Desktop Environment.
Mac OSX is based on Open Software for the most part. And they're able to sell it without competition because of the BSD license. Windows is going to have to conform to more and more open standards to compete with Linux. Now if you have open standards there is nothing that Windows will be able to do that Linux can't.
The hard part is designing flexibility into standards. I'm working on an open source driving game, mainly as a project mananger. We're spending a lot of time fiddling with Subversion, OGRE and ODE. Most of the time is spent getting them to work together and compile on Linux and Windows. That wasted effort brings me to my next point.
An operating system should be a standard. The Linux Standards Base Project is a good start but at some point they may want to rename themselves the Operating System Standards Base Project.
c++ & a lack of standards
Programming as training in school
Curiosity vs. Women
Caffeine vs. Learning
Paper towel, apple, water, tree.
Live cheap, no kids, social responsibility.