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With all the upheaval around Unity and Gnome Shell and not having used Ubuntu since ‘Breezy Badger’ (that was 5.10) I thought I take a fresh look at the upcoming version and the new desktop. Well, it’s not that bad, and at least to me seems more accessible than the new Gnome because it works in a more traditional manner.

Also, Unity actually got up and running where Gnome 3 via the Fedora live CD just dropped me into fallback mode every time, with barely functional panels and no right click shell menu. I only got ATI cards here, but it is a huge blunder to get such an impression right from the start. I can only assess Gnome Shell from what I’ve seen in desktop recordings, but Unity for me has already won here.

It doesn’t take long to get used to either. In Mac-like fashion we get the applications menu now in the top panel. Not exactly new as you could already set up KDE 3 this way. It also doubles as title bar and dynamically changes with your mouse pointer.  You can already see it’s all about maximizing screen real estate. The usual notifications are still on the right hand side of the panel, and it’s slimmer than Gnome’s top panel too. Windows got subtle drop-shadows.

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April 25th, 2011

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