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.

It can be.  I've written portable IP stacks intended for exactly this
Of course it can. i just write that FreeBSD network stack WASN'T MADE for that.
not if it can or not.

routing ASIC's and put them there!

Mostly, yes.  But the system still has to be network manageable.  That
requires that it send and receive packets.  Doing so requires using the
same routing information that the forwarding engines are using to
forward packets in the same address space.  The kernel *does* still need
to know routes to any of its destinations.

but kernel doesn't forward much packets.
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