Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
2012 was the year that the Linux desktop diversified.
Two years ago, users could choose between two or three desktop environments. But by the end of the first quarter of 2012, they had at least eight choices, with more on the way.
Similarly, the year started with LibreOffice as the main office suite. But halfway through the year, LibreOffice was joined by Apache OpenOffice as well as Calligra Suite.
Just as importantly, 2012 saw several events which, although they had little influence during the calendar year, are apt to influence the Linux desktop in 2013 and beyond.
Here is my list of the major Linux desktop announcements, releases and initiatives of 2012.