The LSB (Linux Standard Base) project and its parent organization, the FSG (Free Standards Group), plan to ease the process, for both users and developers, to install an application on Linux. According to Ian Murdock, CEO of the FSG and chair of the LSB, what Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) want is "to treat Linux as a single platform, which means they want to offer a single package for Linux, much as they do for Windows." To do this, many linux developpers agreed, according to Murdock, that the best real-world solution was to construct "a single API that could be implemented across the various package systems, because APIs make for nice evolutionary steps and can, done right, mask underlying implementation differences."
A lot of people seem really happy about this. I've never used Linux, so I didn't know that there's lotsa issues managing software installations.