For this month’s Poll I would like to know what you think about Unity and GNOME Shell. Which do you think will be a better desktop environment?
Mark Shuttleworth announced this past week at the October 2010 Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) that Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) will not use the standard GNOME user interface. Instead Ubuntu 11.04 will use the new Unity interface that was developed by Canonical (the company that owns Ubuntu) for the Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE) 10.10. Unity was not so successful (mainly to it performing sluggish) in the UNE but Canonical has plans to fix it up nice for the Desktop Edition 11.04. Why will Ubuntu 11.04 be using Unity? Well next April the GNOME Shell will ship. The GNOME Shell is a significant modification of the whole GNOME user interface. It will look something like this. Canonical has decided that the GNOME shell is not a suitable choice for Ubuntu due to it being more difficult to use along with several other reasons. So instead the Ubuntu will work on a desktop version of the Unity interface that is already used for Netbooks. But Ubuntu 11.04 will remain a GNOME distribution and it will still run all the GNOME applications. It will just use Unity instead of the GNOME Shell. Rumors are that 11.04 will also use Compiz and try to have to the beauty and graphical effects like other modern Operating Systems such as the Mac OS X.
Here is an example of the Unity interface.
Creating their very own interface is a brave step for Ubuntu but may reward Ubuntu with much success, we’ll just have to wait and see…