Does Linux have a future on the desktop? I think not. My opinion is Linux users are very intelligent but very fickle bunch. I happily run Ubuntu, but if there was no Ubuntu I would not mind using Fedora, or Mint, or Debian, or SUSE or Mandriva, or something else. They all work.
|The Gnome 3.20 desktop|
My preferred desktop environment is the Gnome 3.20 shell, but am no less productive using the (busy) Unity Shell on Gnome 3, the older Gnome 2.x, KDE or something else. Yes, they all work too.
|The Unity Desktop Environment|
With Windows and Mac users, well they may not like some changes, but ultimately they adjust to the new OS or desktop. With Linux, when the users start to get agitated by change, a fork is on the way.
What you have is a operating system with over a dozen desktop and scores of distributions. Android fragmentation is nothing by comparison.
Maybe one day, Linux users could agree to rally around one flag, or a company can create enough of a stir to get the majority to rally around one distribution. If that happened, Linux on the desktop might stand a fighting chance. One could expect better driver and hardware support. Mainstream app developers would find the Linux environment friendlier The consumer oriented distribution are kick-ass and user friendly operating systems, in all their iterations.