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Ubuntu 9.04 Is As Slick As Win7, Mac OS X 871

Posted by kdawson
from the continuous-improvement dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with an opinion piece from ZDNet Australia. "Here's what the official press release won't tell you about Ubuntu 9.04, which formally hit the streets yesterday: its designers have polished the hell out of its user interface since the last release in October. Just like Microsoft has taken the blowtorch to Vista to produce the lightning-quick Windows 7, which so far runs well even on older hardware, Ubuntu has picked up its own game."
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Ubuntu 9.04 Is As Slick As Win7, Mac OS X

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  • Isn't it strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:29AM (#27701571) Homepage

    From the article: I particularly noticed the Ubuntu difference when I put the operating system to the test by simultaneously launching and using multiple applications, listening to music and more while using my spare CPU cycles in the background to encode high-definition video with Mencoder. Ubuntu still felt very fast--even with traditionally sluggy pieces of software like OpenOffice.org.
     
    Isn't it strange that people are still surprised that their computers are fast? Computers have gotten ridiculously fast compared during the last 20 years, and still they seem slow to many of us. Is that just the result of crappy programming, or is there more to it?

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Boiling_point_ (443831) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:33AM (#27701625) Homepage
    Lifehacker has a well laid-out and illustrated introduction [lifehacker.com] avec screenshots.
  • Still Brown (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Het Irv (1424087) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:35AM (#27701653)
    Shuttleworth has already announced that the color scheme will be changed for 9.10, Karmic Koala. I havn't seen what color it actually is gonna be, but its not brown.
  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nerdposeur (910128) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:37AM (#27701685) Journal

    Isn't it strange that people are still surprised that their computers are fast? Computers have gotten ridiculously fast compared during the last 20 years, and still they seem slow to many of us. Is that just the result of crappy programming, or is there more to it?

    That's what I want to know, too. If I had known in 1995 what the specs for my 2009 system would be, I would have freaked out and expected it to boot in milliseconds and do everything else instantly.

  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:38AM (#27701697) Homepage

    ... about the state of KDE [slashdot.org], I upgraded to Kubuntu 9.04 yesterday and have so far found it to be exactly what was promised: it's faster, more compatible, and... well, I don't know about stable because I've never had an issue with stability with Kubuntu.

    I am, however, still at odds with a few of KDE 4.2.2's features (namely KPackageKit, Amarok, and the way removable media is handled), but I think I can at last live with it. If you've been pondering whether to upgrade from Hardy (which I know some people have been), I'm sure you'll find 9.04 acceptable.

    (in future though, I must remember not to upgrade on the day of the release. A presumed 45 minute upgrade turned into a 3.5 hour slog)

  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peter Simpson (112887) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:38AM (#27701699)

    Go back and look at what the GUI was 20 years ago. Lots of that increased speed went to support flashy GUIs and desktops that do more. Lots more processes running, too.

    I'm not running Compiz and Ubuntu runs perfectly fine for me on an old hand-me-down 2.4G P4 single core.

  • It's damned fast (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dave420 (699308) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:43AM (#27701771)
    And the effects are mostly great (on their own), but it still lacks coherency in its design. The UI elements still look ratty, old-fashioned, and ugly, and the visual effects (while fluid) are all over the place. Don't hate me for this, but at least Windows 7's design is much more coherent, from the UI controls to the visual effects - they look like they work together. What I've seen of 9.04 is quite the opposite - it looks like everything is engaged in a mortal struggle against everything else. A fluid, nifty effect generates a window that's full of 90s-esque design elements. It's rather jarring. Like taking a swanky elevator to a penthouse, and the doors open to reveal a highly-functional chicken coop.
  • I would hope so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:45AM (#27701801)

    Because Microsoft had been woken up with Windows 7. For a long time, Windows had a huge loophole that allowed competition - rampant security and stability holes while it's huge benefit was that most software ran on it. Exploiting this weekness allowed Apple to get back into the game.

    We all joke about the BSOD, but tability, except for the odd driver, has been mostly a non-issue to the vast majority of users since XP. Security, otoh, seems to have been mostly fixed to the point of being good enough (hardly perfect) in Vista, especially if you don't run as admin all the time. In the days of XP, I had to reinstall my OS once a year just to keep it running at a tolerable rate, 2 years of Vista and the computer is still running fine without running antivirus or antispyware.

    Still, this is behind a firewall and I'm not sure I would trust it out in the wireless world or on the road.

    I'm glad Ubuntu is upping it's game. Coming out as it did in 2004 probably was probably close to the last point in time that a new linux distro could have been launched, aimed at joe user, that would have gained a significant following. Perhaps if came out in 1998, we'd be seeing Quickbooks for Linux on Walmart shelves by now. But that's making a lot of assumptions about the underlying packages at the time that no single distro could do anything about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:50AM (#27701869)

    At work, the boss gave the developers extra monitors and a video card with dual DVI output. One guy got it working under Ubuntu 8.04 after some hackery. Another guy's Windows XP picked it up without much trouble. My Ubuntu 8.04 workstation wasn't so cooperative, even with the other guy's config options.

    Last week, I installed 9.04 beta and it picked up the dual monitors without breaking a sweat. It even put the size/manufacturer in the upper-left corner of each monitor as the display options were being adjusted.

    All it needs now is a "Launch World of Warcraft from my Windows partition" menu entry, and it'll take the world by storm.

  • by Sun.Jedi (1280674) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:59AM (#27702001) Journal

    I am grateful that Ubuntu and Fedora have world class support, improvements, and update frequently. Ditto for OOO, and many other open source projects (cluster ssh, firefox, openssh, apache, etc...) As long as the support for exchange mail is an OWA connector, I can't leave windows behind. OWA sucks, OWA sucks from IE on Windows, it double sucks with evolution-exchange.

    No, I won't virtualize WIN/Outlook. No, I won't run 2 desktops. No, the Exchange server is not going to be replaced with insight or kroupware or any other open source replacement.

    While I am happy for the 9.04 release, I can't help but not being too excited because in spite of all the goodness that Linux is, if it can't meet my needs, it's simply not a viable option.

    If I can't run it, how the hell am I supposed to get my wife, kids, or parents on it? Yeah, thats a loaded question, and in actuality my kids PC is Fedora 10. I still have to continually answer the "why do you use Windows" style questions from them.

  • font rendering (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sexybomber (740588) <boccilino@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:07AM (#27702091)

    I don't know what it was due to, but for some reason, when I was running the previous version (Ibex?), various bits of text wouldn't render properly. They looked "fuzzy". Actually, Facebook (of all sites) had it the worst. Capital Rs were indistinguishable from capital Ps, for example.

    Not so now. Cleaner and crisper text across the board. I was delighted to see that the upgrade cleared that particular issue up. So 9.04 is starting off on a good foot!

    (One continuing gripe, though: the Mahjongg tiles still look like they're straight outta 1990.)

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:24AM (#27702319)

    windows moving around without jerkiness

    While I generally like 9.04, this statement is not quite true. At least on my machines, there is a lot of tearing and flickering when you move a window no matter whether desktop effects are switched on or off.

    Just a minor quirk, but annoying. I experience no such flickering in windows XP or OS X. (I'm customarily using all 3 OSes, Ubuntu for work, OS X for home, and XP for gaming.)

  • Re:Screenshots (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:30AM (#27702411)

    Speaking of Macs, the Gnome widgets have always reminded me strongly of Mac OS 9. In fact, remind might be too weak a word- they look outright copied. That is probably why many commenters here think they look dated.

  • by cabjf (710106) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:35AM (#27702473)

    As we've noted in earlier articles, Microsoft has also brought its best to the table with Windows 7. However, it's a pity that Apple didn't seem to do so with Leopard.

    Ubuntu comments aside (I use and enjoy it myself), this hardly seems like a well written piece. The author talks up Windows 7 and complains about the current version of Mac OS X. It seems a bit biased to ignore the Vista debacle, talk up Windows 7 before its release, then complain about Leopard without doing more than mentioning Snow Leopard. It's not like Apple is being secretive about what they have in store for Snow Leopard [wikipedia.org]. Apple seems to be addressing just about every complaint the author made about the current version of Mac OS X. Both Windows 7 and Mac OS X v10.6 are most likely due out sometime this year, so comparing them would be much fairer than comparing a future version of Windows to the current version of Mac OS X.

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlitzTech (1386589) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:37AM (#27702505)
    They're plenty of use. I used a tablet for all of my college notes, which made it convenient to copy&send to friends who might have missed class. The fact that I couldn't install Linux on it (despite several failed attempts) was irritating, because my battery life was better on Linux (surprise!) and the tablet was significantly faster under Linux. Unfortunately, the calibration would frequently de-align itself and screen rotation didn't always rotate the calibration as well (i.e. pointing at the lower left would make the cursor jump to the upper right).

    In answer to your comment about desktop use, I know many artists who do most of their work in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. They hate using a mouse for that kind of work. If you question these users' importance overall, I can only direct you to the frequent conversation about 'I need apps that don't work in Linux! You can't use GIMP as a replacement for Photoshop!'.

    I agree it's not that huge of a deal, but it might be a dealbreaker for a not-insignificant number of people.
  • by enHatt (1283014) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:43AM (#27702585)
    I also got this message (ATI), and upgraded anyway. I really don't have any use for the acceleration. It's only recently that using the fglrx driver stopped causing my laptop to freeze on sleep/hibernation. Surprisingly, I can now get desktop effects, without the driver. This makes the open office menus look ridiculous, so I'm not sure if I won or not.
  • Re:screenshots? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:43AM (#27702597)

    You don't have to. You can just download and install it. It is free you know and extremely simple to set up. I own and operate a small business where I do repairs, upgrades, and sales. Linux is tremendously easier to get up and running than Windows. I've been involved in computers for almost 25 years. You can't beat the value and ease of use of Linux today, on the desktop at that.

  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot&nexusuk,org> on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:46AM (#27702641) Homepage

    The only thing that's reall changed in the last 10 years
    is that the tools have changed in appearance. Some are
    more snazzy, and some are less snazzy but more automated.
    However the basics are pretty much the same as well as
    the expected level of concurrency.

    Yeah, I've got to say that I find it pretty depressing to find the base OS being more resource hungry every time I upgrade. There is some increase in priddyness, such as Compiz Fusion, but I'm sure a lot of the bloat is behind the scenes stuff such as HAL, UDEV, PulseAudio, etc. To the end user they don't offer a really noticeable advantage and they do add to the bloat.

    A quick look down my process list (Fedora 11) shows top bulky processes are:
      * FireFox with a resident size of 184MB
      * Xorg with a resident size of 125MB
      * Lots of Gnome bits and pieces totalling maybe 100MB
      * Nautilus with a resident size of 33MB

    So you're looking at a fairly significant memory consumption just to surf the web - this is something that my old P166 laptop could do with 64MB of RAM around 1998 (and it was faster at it then than my 2GB Athlon XP 2100+ is now!)

    There are a whole load of processes running and socking up memory that just don't need to be there too - the PC Card daemon (this is a desktop machine with no PC Card slots), the Bluetooth daemons (this machine has no bluetooth interface), gpm, gnome-power-monitor (why do I need this on a desktop machine?), etc. Sure, these processes do useful stuff in certain situations, but there's absolutely no need for them to be running all the time. Take Nautilus, for example - I never actually use it, but Gnome wants it to be running all the time just in case.

    And yes, I know I could spend hours tuning my system, but my point is that I shouldn't have to - there's no need for modern systems to have all this bloat running all the time, it's just there because it is easier to be lazy and tell people to get better hardware than write efficient systems.

    There's also a trend towards using much less efficient languages - for example, a lot of stuff is now written in Python and Java. As far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely no sane reason to use a system like Java with the overhead of a VM when you already know what architecture the binaries will be running on when you build them.

  • Older hardware? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:46AM (#27702645)

    How old? 8.10 jetisoned support for older Nvidia cards:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/810#nVidia%20%22legacy%22%20video%20support [ubuntu.com]

    No such mention in the 9.04 notes, but that seems addressed to people who could go to 8.10.
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/904 [ubuntu.com]

    Anyone already in-the-know on this? There's a lot of otherwise fine machines running 8.04LTS as their 'last Ubuntu' because of this, which was a PITA frankly. If you didn't dig out and understand the release notes, there was no warning. The 8.10 LiveCD worked fine, then you got a new install that failed to install. Much tearing of hair and unanswered forum posts from people before that one was sorted.

    Sorry I'm a non-expert, but that's why I went with Ubuntu. Does the X.Org of 9.04 work with GeForce4? How do we find out? The card works great with 8.04 and of course Windows.

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:51AM (#27702705) Homepage

    I have a tablet PC, with a multi-touch display (Touchsmart Tx2). Windows 7's support is light-years better than Windows Vista... and that would be a deal-breaker.

    You say it stresses your arms, but it really doesn't. After about two weeks of practice, I could touch-type reasonably quickly on the onscreen keyboard (with a couple of quirks), and when I'm working, it's so much easier to lift a finger from the keyboard to touch the screen than it is to lower one hand to use the touchpad.

    I'll never get another notebook that doesn't have a touchscreen, and I will never use an OS on it that doesn't have at least reasonable support. Touch is a godsend.

  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thornburg (264444) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:02PM (#27702845)

    That's what I want to know, too. If I had known in 1995 what the specs for my 2009 system would be, I would have freaked out and expected it to boot in milliseconds and do everything else instantly.

    So install Windows 98 and Office 97 on a modern system (we'll just pretend there are drivers). It'll fly crazy-fast. Heck, you could install Windows 98 and Office 97 on a RAMDISK and still have plenty of space left over.

    What, you want XP SP3 w/ Office 07 & IE 8? Well, then I guess it'll run about the same as a ten year old computer ran with ten year old software.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:02PM (#27702847)
    You can have the slickest interface (which Ubuntu does not have) but if you lack applications or applications that are out there have no consistent look and feel then that slick UI is useless to anyone other than a nerdy fanboy. Most people are looking to get stuff done be it for business or creative pursuits and that requires good software with consistent UIs and consistent interoperability through stuff like copy and paste/drag and drop.

    I remember being a windows user applying all sorts of Aqua themes and running all kinds of menu bar emulators and docks but at some point I realized that none of that stuff changed the inherent lack of usability of windows. The drag and drop still sucked, the window management still sucked and the performance sucked even worse with all of those hacks running in the background.

    The linux community needs to create a standard set of controls and application frameworks. This has to be in place before they can attract serious commercial software developers like Adobe to linux and before linux will be taken seriously as a desktop OS.

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jd (1658) <imipak @ y a h o o .com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:05PM (#27702885) Homepage Journal

    Well, the APNG (animated PNG) format never really went anywhere.

  • Re:Screenshots (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lifyre (960576) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:06PM (#27702909)

    I'm new to KDE so I may have the wrong of it but I have the konqueror file manager as an option...

    I never used 3.5 for more passing fancies and couldn't stand 4.0. I gave 4.2 a shot with the kUbuntu beta and while there has been a learning curve, I haven't looked back at GNOME.

  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd (1658) <imipak @ y a h o o .com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:08PM (#27702931) Homepage Journal

    If you use Coreboot (formerly known as LinuxBIOS), optimized kernel settings, optimized glibc settings, and stick to a lightweight window manager on X, you should get exactly what you're describing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:19PM (#27703103)

    WOW! Here it is 2009 and we now have Apple zealots and Windows zealots telling us Linux zealots to "wait for the next release" to match what Linux does TODAY. Who'd ever have thought!

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by c0p0n (770852) <copong@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:19PM (#27703105)

    For nothing really, just for very specific tasks. I would love a touch screen in my laptop to perform live using Ableton Live.

  • by bonch (38532) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:23PM (#27703159)

    Brushed metal doesn't exist anymore. When it did, it was for applications containing a source list or emulating some real world device, so there was an intended consistency. Around the time brushed metal disappeared, black HUDs showed up in Apple's media applications, allowing you to make edits without obscuring too much of what you're working on. The deviations in OS X have a purpose.

    The inconsistencies the person you're responding to is talking about is stupid crap like the way fonts are rendered. There is still uneven kerning and bad font choices after all these years. Applications don't follow a standard interface paradigm. You know how a Mac app is going to look and feel, even when it deviates from the norm, such as Delicious Library [delicious-monster.com].

    Ubuntu is odd because it's a project trying to take all this third-party work and make it feel like it's cohesive and meant to go together. I'd rather use the stuff in "vanilla" form and not make-believe that it was all created by the same team.

  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:27PM (#27703219) Journal

    HAL, UDEV, PulseAudio, etc. To the end user they don't offer a really noticeable advantage and they do add to the bloat.

    HAL and UDEV make devices work better and easier. Things like being able to plug a USB hard drive in, and have it autodetected and ready to mount, is directly the result of udev.

    Also, udev isn't slow. I've used it on incredibly weak hardware. Trust me, it's not the bottleneck.

    PulseAudio, you might have a point -- at least in that the user-visible improvement isn't there yet, unless your soundcard is too weak to handle multiple audio streams -- I know I configure everything to just use ALSA.

    But it will come. Like Vista -- having a volume knob per-app would be very useful.

    There are a whole load of processes running and socking up memory that just don't need to be there too - the PC Card daemon (this is a desktop machine with no PC Card slots), the Bluetooth daemons (this machine has no bluetooth interface), gpm, gnome-power-monitor (why do I need this on a desktop machine?), etc.

    That is true -- it would be very nice if these things could be handled by some sort of hotplug script (which you still need HAL and udev for), so that the moment a PC card slot appears, you're ready for it.

    Interestingly, I see absolutely no bluetooth icon on my Kubuntu 8.10 machine (can't risk upgrading yet), until I turn it on (via the hardware switch).

    And yes, I know I could spend hours tuning my system, but my point is that I shouldn't have to - there's no need for modern systems to have all this bloat running all the time, it's just there because it is easier to be lazy and tell people to get better hardware than write efficient systems.

    Well, yes and no. I used to spend hours tuning my system, when I had a 200 mhz machine with 256 megs of RAM. I even carried these same habits to my 1.7 ghz machine with 512 megs of RAM.

    Now I have a 2.5 ghz dual-core with 4 gigs of RAM. The slowest it will run is 800 mhz. And it's a laptop.

    It is simply not worth my time to run around tuning this stuff. It's not a personal itch I feel like scratching. Just let it eat 200 mhz (more than my old machine even had) and a gig or two of RAM -- better than me having to spend hours tweaking it.

    If someone else wants to, that's great! Certainly, I'll tend to use more efficient alternatives when they work -- for example, as I'm in KDE, I'm writing this post in Konqueror, rather than Firefox. But for the most part, it's just not worth it.

    a lot of stuff is now written in Python and Java. As far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely no sane reason to use a system like Java with the overhead of a VM when you already know what architecture the binaries will be running on when you build them.

    Firstly, Java can actually do some runtime optimizations that (for example) C can't. There are even circumstances where a garbage collector is faster than manual malloc/free. So purely from a performance aspect, it's not quite as clean as you think.

    Second, there's still Python. And I don't know about you, but I'd much rather most of my system be written in Python than in C. Just by virtue of the respective languages, less code to do the same things means less bugs, garbage collection means fewer memory leaks and fewer segfaults, and really no sane possibility of buffer overruns...

    I don't know about you, but I'll almost always trade a few more cycles for a bit more reliability and security.

    The reason? With apologies to Churchill: My Ruby script may be slow today, but it will get faster as the hardware and interpreters improve. Your C program, however, will still be ugly. (Uglier code, more of it, and buggier...)

  • All okay so far... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fuego451 (958976) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:30PM (#27703261) Journal

    Installed the 64 bit version on a new Toshiba L305D with an AMD Turion X2 processor, ATI Radeon graphics and 3GB ram. Though partitioning was a minor pain in the ass (fat32, swap, logical), all went well and the entire install took about 20 minutes.

    I was concerned the Atheros wifi was going to cause me problems but all it required was the ssid and passkey. Having problems talking to the Samba share on my Debian box though. Ext4 has had no hiccups, so far.

    Dual booted in case I ran into more problems than I have time to fix right now but I feel comfortable scraping Vista off the HDD now.

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by retchdog (1319261) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:34PM (#27703331) Journal

    yeah. I can't get the intel integrated graphics to stop doing that, no matter what I do. To test it, I wrote an example code to use double buffer and do vsync. Amazingly, it just kept on tearing. Annoying.

  • Re:Isn't it strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:36PM (#27703353) Homepage Journal

    PulseAudio, you might have a point

    The only thing wrong with PulseAudio is the way it is implemented in Ubuntu. The Ubuntu packagers have clearly not understood (or perhaps even read) PerfectSetup [pulseaudio.org]. PulseAudio worked perfectly for me in Intrepid (not making this up) and still works perfectly in Jaunty, but in both cases I had to follow the PerfectSetup guide in order to make it so. This was especially egregious in Intrepid, where pulseaudio was installed by default. I had to install it to get mixing working on my laptop (HP 8730w with snd-hda-intel) and now everything is beautiful.

  • by Selfbain (624722) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:38PM (#27703391)
    I watch my new EeePC run circles around my $1600 iBook with a mixture of awe and horror.
  • by wytcld (179112) on Friday April 24, 2009 @01:00PM (#27703665) Homepage

    Where does this notion that whatever became the design trend yesterday is always the best come from? Being cool means you don't spend hours each day in front of the mirror trying to dress and posture like the supposed "cool kids." That approach is exactly why pop music sucks worse than ever, on the whole, while nearly everything else (say, architecture) is also largely in decline. It's why Wall Street went head-over-heals for "financial products" invented yesterday, instead of staying focused on the very-profitable products that were invented centuries ago.

    The new that's truly new - there's a place for that. Pop music, for instance, once had a lot more truly new stuff in the mix. But the "new" that's merely imitating someone else's trendy details - totally bogus. Good UI's persist, they aren't disposable trash. Trends have little to do with that.

  • by EvilToiletPaper (1226390) on Friday April 24, 2009 @01:16PM (#27703895)

    What do you expect if programmers drive the development process? These things simply are not important to them.

    Yes we should totally turn it over to the MBAs!
    I think 1 billion $$ might cover their golf expenses, might need a couple of billion more for their dinner and travel.
    We'll use whatever's left to pay engineers to develop the UI, in strict conformance to what the MBAs say, of course.

  • Re:screenshots? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @02:25PM (#27704823) Homepage Journal

    "Why do you need a touchscreen?"

    Because I'm too lazy to fuck with the piece of shit trackpad that most laptops come with? Because sometimes the mouse refuses to work properly, or maybe the keyboard got something spilled on it and I'm out of warranty? How about for those of us with arthritis and bursitis, which can make clicking a button a massive pain where one could just touch the screen and be on their way?

    You would do well to think a little further before you make such inane statements.

    Why? BECAUSE WE CAN. BECAUSE IT CAN BE DONE AND THERE ARE MORE USES THAN WHAT YOUR MIND ALONE CAN COME UP WITH.

    Seriously - innovate or die off and make room for someone that can.

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday April 24, 2009 @03:27PM (#27705587) Homepage Journal

    This is what is holding Linux back on the desktop though.

    No, it isn't.

    Desktop Linux was good enough for non-geeks to use a decade ago. What's holding Linux back on the desktop is Microsoft's entrenchment. End of discussion. Most users have a perceived need to stay with Windows because they have some legacy application they feel they need to continue to run, or because they're afraid of change, or because Microsoft continues to strongarm the OEM channel. It has nothing to do with the quality of the operating system. Windows did just fine for years during which much time was still spent fiddling with config.sys, autoexec.bat, system.ini, etc.

    Ubuntu is definitely the most user-friendly Linux available, and reports of v9.04 is that they've done an exceptionally good job this time, but desktop Linux has been viable for years now. It isn't about the technology; it's about an entrenched monopolist bullying the industry around.

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