I very much doubt that marketing issues were a significant issue.
Off-the-shelf OS networking has always fallen short of supporting

it wasn't made for that.

As someone else already mentioned in this thread, supporting hardware
offload for forwarding is a major issue.  Core routers (or even
provider-edge routers) depend on most of the packet forwarding being
done in proprietary hardware. Operating system IP stacks don't support
this very well; all of the routers I've worked on used the kernel IP
stack only for packets going to and from the kernel itself, and used a
different stack for what I call "transit" packets -- those that are
only being forwarded by the local system.

as higher speed routers are "hardware" - why OS has to do ANY work on routing?

it's just there to prepare routing tables in format required for routing ASIC's and put them there!
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