Canonical deserves a lot of credit for releasing Ubuntu 11.04 with the Unity desktop interface. For Linux to be more successful on the desktop, it needs a new look.
The Gnome and KDE desktops have dominated Linux for years — many years. They are are old and dated. Even recent revamps to both desktops have not led to major advancements. It looks like Canonical has decided to take a chance on a new user interface and see where it leads.
You may be aware that Linux offers many desktop environments from Gnome and KDE to XFCE, LXDE, Enlightenment, IceWM, Fluxbox and AfterStep — something for everyone. Why so many? Because everyone has an opinion about desktop user interfaces and Linux makes it simple to switch between them.
Microsoft has never embraced the idea of letting people replace the look, feel and layout of Windows with something else. They have always felt the need to stay in control of the user experience.
Linux is open source. Open source plays by different rules.
Unity positions Ubuntu for use on desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets. It is a clean and simple interface designed for mainstream PC users. It may over-simplified for hard-core Linux techies or those enamored with traditional multi-layered, drop-down, menu structures.
I have no idea if Unity will be widely accepted or not. Ubuntu users who miss the old Ubuntu have the option of switching to “Ubuntu Classic” for the old Gnome interface.
Clearly, Gnome and KDE have failed to gain widespread acceptance among desktop PC buyers. Furthermore, tablets appear to be the next major wave of computing devices. It’s time for a new desktop user interface. Have you seen Unity? What do you think?
You can check out Ubuntu and Unity at the official Ubuntu website.