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7 Labors of the Linux Desktop

Ubuntu Pushes Everyone

  • July 19, 2010
  • By Bruce Byfield
Bruce Byfield

Not long ago, the overwhelming issue on the Linux desktop was catching up with Windows and OS X. Partly, the concern was usability, but it also included the need for a rich ecosystem of utilities.

But some time in the last few years, that goal was reached, so quietly that exactly when is impossible to say. Some might still quibble over a feature or two, but the competitiveness of the free desktop is strong enough that equaling rivals no longer seems a major concern.

Instead, the Linux desktop has become the testing ground for exactly what the future of computing will be. It is not the only place where such testing is taking place, but the speed of development and the frequency of releases for GNOME, KDE, and other alternatives often places the free desktop at the center of experiment and innovation.

In fact, there are at least seven issues with which various versions of the free desktop are struggling. Many of these have not been formally announced, but, watching developments over several years, they become obvious:

1) Fine-tuning usability

For almost a year now, Ubuntu has been focusing on Mark Shuttleworth's famous challenge to make the free desktop the equal of OS X's. This focus has resulted in the overhauling of the GNOME notification system in Ubuntu, as well as the infamous repositioning of the title bar buttons in windows.

These efforts have been criticized for being made in the distribution, rather than contributed to the GNOME project. However, Shuttleworth's efforts have got people thinking...

Read the rest of this Linux desktop story at Datamation.com

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