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What will the new GNOME desktops mean for other Linux desktops?

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Software

It’s almost time. Soon a new paradigm of GNOME is going to drop onto the desktops of suspecting (and unsuspecting) users. When this does there is going to be reaction. As with any major change to the computer industry, users are going to have both negative and positive reactions. Some will go so far as to switch distributions to avoid this change. Some users, on the other hand, will seek solace elsewhere. What exactly does that mean to the landscape of Linux? Let’s don our speculation caps and take a look.

Distributions

Probably the biggest knee-jerk reaction will be users migrating to other distributions. Ubuntu Linux is probably going to see the largest amount of users jumping ship. Why? Ubuntu Unity. Although users will be able to install an alternative desktop, many users who choose Ubuntu aren’t at that level of ability. Remember, Ubuntu is the Linux of choice for most new users. And when a new user is greeted with the completely different (and less effective) desktop of Unity, they will abandon the distribution in favor of, say, Kubuntu, Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS. My guess is another option will make itself available soon after the initial release of 11.04. Someone is going to create a spin of Ubuntu with the traditional GNOME desktop.

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