GNOME vs. KDE vs. Unity: Performing Seven Basic Tasks

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When users talk about the latest generations of Linux desktops, almost always they report general impressions. They say that GNOME 3 seems needlessly complex, or that Unity seems too basic, but they're vague on the specifics. In the past, I've been guilty of dealing with impressions myself.

But what, I wonder, is the real story? In the hopes of providing some substance, I've to compare GNOME 2 and 3, KDE, and Ubuntu's Unity, using seven basic tasks that anyone using a desktop is likely to do. The comparison is not just a matter of mouse-clicks -- although that metric is sometimes revealing -- but, in some cases, a matter of design as well.

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