I don't understand your question. I didn't start using Photoshop until 6.0 (2000, 12 years ago) prior to that I wasn't doing digital PP for photography and I was creating web images in (then) Macromedia Fireworks.
If I may explain, every couple of years Adobe release major update to Photoshop. They do this in a couple of major ways, firstly they use their own skill to improve the product, secondly they look at what plug-ins are being used and either purchase the companies/IP behind the plug-in or develop their own functionality. For example, others made HDR composition plug-ins before Adobe added the feature native, others done photo-stitching before Adobe released that native, other companies added RAW support before Adobe added, other companies had content-aware healing before Adobe added and so on. The result is a hugely feature packed piece of software.
When I use GIMP for PP it reminds me very much of Photoshop 6.0 without any plugins. It's a superb programme, I have developed websites purely using Linux with GIMP for the images. It's a great example of free-software. I am not knocking GIMP, I am just stating the fact it's nowhere near on-par with Photoshop for photo-editing. I'm not sure if that answers your question (assuming that was a question, rather than a remark I don't understand either).