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Is the 'perfect desktop' attainable?

Jack Wallen found many people had strong opinions about his claim that Ubuntu 12.04 nailed the desktop to near perfection. As a result, Jack questions whether the "perfect desktop" is attainable.

After my review of Ubuntu 12.04 last week, I received a lot of email responses.  Some of these missives agreed with me and some did not. But all of them, regardless of stance, pointed toward one simple idea: The perfect desktop is a lofty, but unachievable goal. How can I say that, after my slurping proclamations of Precise Pangolin? It's pretty simple actually. Let me ask you a question: What makes up the perfect desktop?

That, my friends, is the killer question. Tucked within some of the emails I received were clear and precise reasons why 12.04 was or was not the perfect desktop -- for the writer. Some writers needed multiple desktops to behave in very specific ways (ways they grew to love from another desktop UI). Still, others enjoyed the slick new HUD of 12.04 and felt it one of the best application menu systems to date.

But how do you answer a question ("What makes up the perfect desktop?") that is so user-specific? You can't. What you can do, as a designer/developer, is shoot for the result that best suits the majority of users. You know, in the end, there will be users who aren't satisfied with your results, but you have hope they can either find peace in what you bring or figure out how to modify your work enough to fit their bill.

But let me answer that question and you can compare my answers to yours. What makes up the perfect desktop for Jack Wallen?

  1. Must make efficient use of keyboard shortcuts.
  2. Must be clean in both look and feel.
  3. Must offer quick access to applications, files, and searchable items.
  4. Must have a user-friendly, powerful, and extendable file manager.
  5. Must be aware of applications, media, and other files.
  6. Must have a solid notification system and system tray.
  7. Must be aware of mounted external hardware.
  8. Must have a centralized, easy means to find and install software.
  9. Must be theme-able.
  10. Must offer effects of various sorts.

That is the short-list of what is important to my daily usage. Most of the above is fairly universal -- the majority of users, I believe, would agree. Many desktops can meet some of the above criteria, but not every one. For example: Windows 7 misses out on numbers 8 and 10 (though 10 isn't exactly a show stopper). Mac OS X misses out on 9 and 10. Both Windows 7 and OS X do not succeed as well as Precise Pangolin at 3. Also, most Linux desktops can be made (with varying degrees of configuration) to hit all of the above (with the exception of maybe Fluxbox and other intentionally-minimal window managers).

Even within the world of the Linux desktop, there are disagreements as to what is the perfect desktop. For KDE 4 users, some cannot do without Activities. For Classic GNOME users, some cannot do without the tried and true desktop metaphor. For Unity users, some cannot do without the Lenses.

One person's trash is another person's treasure.

My point is this -- calling something the "perfect" anything is a very individual thing. For me, the "perfect" desktop is the one that works best for me. That happens to be (at this moment) Ubuntu Unity. Prior to that it was Enlightenment E17. The nice thing about open source is that it enables you to easily manipulate and massage the desktop that you are using into that state of "perfection" that you demand.

I don't know if there will ever be a universally accepted ideal desktop. Why? Because everyone's idea of ideal is very different. I could hone a desktop to Jack Wallen perfection and hand it off to someone only to find they hate it.

Now, here's what I'd like to see -- everyone comment on what it is about your current desktop that makes it ideal for you (and which desktop is it). I can almost guarantee the list will be filled with amazing variety -- yet will offer up a few universals.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

53 comments
Netweezurd
Netweezurd

XFCE maybe ??? There is a trend now a days to make "beautiful" interfaces. The programmers that code them, all work on state of the art boxes with the end result that their stuff don't work on half of the PCs out there. That they are unusable, who cares... the end users... tcho them! Personally, I don't need pretty pictures, I need things to operate. KDE4, Gnome3, Unity and others... Like Linus Torvald said: "Crazy". An OS, including it's interface, is not a fashion statement nor is it designed by programmers. When Gnome 3 came to Fedora, I reinstalled with nothing else than LXDE, then added Xfce. I don't need to spend my money buying more powerful computers because somebody else said so. MotherDawg I do RPMs I own crappy boxes GNU/Linux 3.4.4-5.fc17.i686

mknoorani
mknoorani

E17 works best for me and am very happy with it. Very customizable, flashy, light etc. I also like what the elementary guys are doing with Pantheon DE, it's clean, light, well integrated with the apps, nicely themed.... E17 and Pantheon for me

Per4mer001
Per4mer001

I used to appreciate the new start buttons and themes of Microsoft. Now I just want an operating system that does everything I want, as fast as possible.... enter LXDE. Microsoft issues that drove me to the penguin; -Updates that broke my browser or other software which did not include an uninstall feature. -Driver updates that caused my hardware to stop working (there's a reason for the rollback button) -Anti-piracy technology that caused legal installs to break and otherwise wasted my time with resource usage. -Ever slowing file copying operations since XP. -Last but not least, DRM technology that told me I didn't have a license for my home video off my camcorder to be recorded to DVD. In conclusion, I now have an operating system that does what I want without wasting my time.

retiredSoftwareFlunky
retiredSoftwareFlunky

A desktop should be able to be used by everyone, which means it has to be extensible. Throw your little laundry list from this article away; it's incomplete. And it's the wrong list. What you want is a list of the types of people using the desktop: from developers to elderly spinsters: as many people as there are on the planet. Isn't that in the original spirit of Linux? In following Windows as it spirals down we're losing sight of the big picture on desktops. On the other hand we've nailed it on hardware. Linux works on everything from cellphones to super computers. Now it just has to work for everyone. And that's what a designer should be designing for.

mauricio0s-techrep
mauricio0s-techrep

"MGSE" (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), makes Gnome 3 the best choice for me!! Easy and clean interface!! nice work!!!

cerealdud
cerealdud

Remember when Deckard comes back to his apartment and slides a photo into a slot on his "computer"? He never touches a keyboard or mouse and views/enhances the picture all with voice commands. There was never a need to click on a application menu, or icon, nor type a command. The act of inserting the photo was enough input for the correct application to be run. That's a perfect desktop!

abuamnas
abuamnas

desktop comes closest to perfection, when it is almost free from shell commands

l_e_cox
l_e_cox

That's why striving for perfection makes a good game; it never ends.

wa7qzr
wa7qzr

Jack, what is perfection in your mind is not in mine, and is not for the commenter who follows me, or the one who proceeded me, and so on and so on for all Linux users. This is especially true for desktop software because it's all so subjective. Some very respected reviewers seem obsessed with image arrangement on wallpaper (I've choked more often than once to read comments to that effect reference Fedora releases). Others, are all about integration of everything into the desktop (no need for external eye-candy, email, word-processing, micro-blogging, social networking, or database apps, for example). You seem to have your own hang-up about finding this desktop "perfection". Forget it! Just review the features, reveal the failings, and expose the wasteful crap, and leave it to the individual users to decide weather or not something I see as crap, or you see as silly, is, to them, really something they see as terribly useful. That is the real advantage that Linux has over other systems is there is so much to chose from. The real crap-producers are those who try and force their users to accept the idea that no choice is the best choice. Those people should be shunned until their egos deflate.

aroc
aroc

It just hit me that what would be the ultimate in desktops is an installation that would let the user choose whatever they like then and there from a wide range of DE's - pick from the usual suspects and/or roll your own ala carte. I can remember RedHat from the pre-Fedora era where one could choose Gnome or KDE (or am I misremembering?). Rather than have to choose a *buntu/Fedora/Slack DE-specific distro variant, why not utilize network installation flexibility to start from a network-enabled kernel/tools base, and pick and choose from there? I am thinking that there already are some netinstall distros/variants out there now that could be enhanced with this smorgasbord-on-the-net approach. Am I just a dreamer? Of course, after submitting this, I then get the "all comments" view and see a lot of others above thinking along similar lines, so it ain't just me ;-}

apotheon
apotheon

I try new stuff all the time. I tried Ubuntu Unity not too long ago. I tried KDE 2, 3, and also 4 when it was new, and 4 again when it was supposedly stable. I've tried every major GNOME version since the late '90s. I've tried several versions of XFCE. I've used every version of MS Windows from 3.11 up to 7, at least a little bit, with the sole exception of MS WinNT 3.5 -- some of them quite a lot more than a little bit. I've used the OS on pre-Mac Apples, I've used classic MacOS, and MacOS X -- on at least one occasion in a professional capacity. Back in the '80s, I used an Atari OS, Commodores of various vintages, several DOS versions, and probably half a dozen other OSes as well, including the DOS Shell interface. In my use of MS Windows, I've used WindowBlinds and LiteStep and one or two other alternate environments for more modern MS Windows systems as far back as the late '90s. In terms of my preferences for environments on Unix-like systems, they have followed a pretty clear path, from KDE to IceWM to Fluxbox to WindowMaker to Sawfish to AHWM to i3, with brief diversions when trying out other stuff, over a period of quite a few years now. The unifying principles in my steady migration along this path are lightweight software, friendly licensing, flexibility, good defaults, easy management and customization, stability, lack of stupidity that gets in my way, optimal use of screen real estate, and an interface that helps me maximize my efficiency and productivity. . . . 1. keyboard shortcuts This is, obviously, important for my purposes. 2. clean in look and feel Anyone who thinks GNOME, Unity, MS Windows, MacOS, KDE, or XFCE is a dominant player in this realm has not used most of what I have used. 3. access to applications, files, et cetera Once one gets used to them, tools like a good terminal emulator and a text-driven menu that has no physical presence on the screen when it is not being used -- like Unity's HUD or the Suckless project's dmenu -- provide far faster, easier, and more predictable access to such resources than the things people have come to expect from their heavyweight desktop environments. 4. file manager There's nothing more "powerful" and extensible as a file manager than the command line and all the tools provided there. As for user friendliness, well, I guess it depends on the user. 5. application and media awareness What the heck does that mean? 6. system tray I loathe the traditional "system tray". No thank you. 7. hardware awareness This is probably the big downside of the toolset I use, but it's not not that big, and there are ways to deal with it -- workarounds and separate applications that can be installed to deal with some of it. It's not ideal, but I'm unwilling to give up the advantages of the way I do things to get this advantage when my workarounds actually work for my purposes. 8. software management That's key to any OS, and not particularly specific to the desktop environment, so I think it's misplaced by being included in this list. Yes, I make sure I have good software management tools. No, I don't see what this has to do with desktop environment selection. 9. themes I think the real key here is not "themes". It's simple customization. That might include themes in some cases. In other cases, "themes" might not have any relevant meaning at all. Point 9 here assumes far too much about other people having exactly the same preferences as you, and choosing the same types of desktop environments as you, which is silly. 10. effects What the heck does that mean? . . . Obviously, I answered "other" on that poll. This is my take. Your mileage may vary.

itadmin
itadmin

As said in the article, different people have different ideas over what a perfect desktop should be. So, yes, there is no universal perfect desktop and can't be. For me it's function - allow me to easily access the ten or so applications I use regularly and use a menu, with sub menus, for the rest. Then it should show me a few things, like resource (cpu and memory) use and state, new mail, network speed, etc. Pop ups should be in the corners so I can ignore them, but see them. Debian's Gnome 2 is fine by me. I only wish it could have different backgrounds for the different desktops, like KDE. But that's something small.

Sagax-
Sagax-

The question "What makes up the perfect desktop?" is the problem. My definition of the "perfect" desktop is different from your definition. And so it will be with other people. Eg. I have no use for a "gee-whiz" desktop, but the effort put into developing them suggests that someone wants them.

AnthonyKamau
AnthonyKamau

When Unity first came out, I could not stand it and ran to KDE 4 (Kubuntu, Ocelot), which I've come to really enjoy. However, I'll be installing Pangolin over the next few days to see what the heck has you all excited! I'll be sure to post back on whether I found honey or poison! Cheers, ak.

brf531
brf531

I can't stand desktops where everything is bouncing around all the time. Stuff should hold still and stay where you put it. Xfce is my choice of desktop. Custom panels and half a dozen workspaces, and I'm good. I can organize my work and jump between applications with minimal disruption. But, hey, Linux is all about choice.

mark
mark

Or man for the others...

mshimohi
mshimohi

like there is no one perfect Editor. Each people has different favor, experience, environment, etc. The important point is selection of desktop and customization of them. For me, Unity is not my desktop but xfce, I don't want to use Win7 without Classic Shell installed, but I like iOS, and I hate Windows Mobile with it's UI.

alzie
alzie

Howard Stern has this problem with his show. Your typical love / hate issue. I for one love it. Lincoln once said, "You can satisfy some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can never satisfy all of the people all of the time." Que sera sera!

RickB9
RickB9

No, that's why I got off this merry-go-round and got facile with the Fluxbox window manager and Nautilus file browser, and don't care a whit about what any given distro's devs are offering. I'm used to it, it works great, it's gonzo fast, and after a few years of using several Linux distros I know what I'm doing and have saved the all-important config files that make setting up my familiar desktop trivial.

jwreed2345
jwreed2345

Additional thoughts: fastest and easiest install / upgrade ever. I saved my home directory, did a bare metal install, restored my documents, pictures, etc and was up in a little over an hour. Then I played with settings, app installs etc for the last week because I never really committed in the past. Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Chromium, all working well for me.

bkindle
bkindle

Windows 7 will be my main OS of choice for the foreseeable future and when I want little more power Ubuntu is my go to OS for tougher tasks. Gnome is third on my list.

jwreed2345
jwreed2345

I have used most flavors of windows over the years and have truly liked Win 7. I keep it clean and protected and have never had any significant issues. I have also always kept a second machine for playing with lots of Linux versions. I liked the idea of Unity for wide screen monitors. The left hand application bar maximizes the screen real estate for most applications. I installed 12.04 on my test machine which is an Atom mini-itx with 2 GB memory and Intel graphics. This is the first OS that feels snappy on that system. The changes in Unity are a huge upgrade. I have set myself a goal of using only Ubuntu as much as possible for a month. I haven't had to go back to the Windows box since I started and now plan to use Ubuntu exclusively, especially since I love the low power use, quiet (fanless), all-in one style box i have created.

LorinRicker
LorinRicker

Just installed Ubuntu 12.04 on an old Sony Viao laptop over the weekend, certainly encouraged by Jack's review & recommendation last week. Not disappointed at all, but certainly have some learning to do. With experimentation and induction, I'm learning how to actually customize Unity somewhat (I'll sure miss dockable panels), how to add apps to the launcher bar, and to the desktop, etc. HUD is at the moment confusing me: why, for instance, does it bring up "Date > Time & Date Settings..." when I type in "term" (and many more bemusing things)? I don't (yet) get it... But I'll push on, because I'm convinced that there's goodness here to be learned and mastered. BTW, where's the authoritative "User's Guide to Unity"? The one which tells you how to use it, what to expect, what the design/use goals are, how to customize it, what the shortcut keystrokes are, etc? Like *all* GUIs, which are always justified somehow as "intuitive" for the user, it (Unity) ain't... obvious, that is. Why? 'Cause it's a "rich environment" -- if it was somehow "simple", it wouldn't be useful.

billcauley
billcauley

I'm using classic Gnome with Gnome Do, being that I don't have graphics capable of running Unity with HUD. But I believe my setup to be as capable, and that I'm not missing anything. I've used the available customization tools to make my desktop exactly the way I want, though I continually find additional tweaks and add-ons from participating in the various user forums. As expected, my system has crashed a few times and Thunderbird has shutdown many times, but I am confident that the fixes are on the way. To be sure, Ubuntu 12.04 is the best operating system I've ever used; however, I still don't recommend it for a regular non-geek users since the fixes and customizations are still too difficult to incorporate.

claudesherman
claudesherman

I am having to drop to Gnome to use the applications that are not on the sidebar. The secondary menu now does not have the secondary applications that I had in the first versions of Unity and are readily available in Gnome. It shows recent applications, downloads, etc. but not the many other applications that I have loaded. Where do I find instructions on how to use Unity with all its features?

janitorman
janitorman

Xubuntu 11. I also use ms XP BOTH are highly customized, I have NEVER seen anything like the configuration I prefer on any computer. HOWEVER with both of these OS's the interface I prefer is achievable. I don't need the Unity bar, I have my own floating toolbar with most used applications floating on the left. I have my most used shortcuts on the right (such as to folders or documents I open frequently.) I have what I WANT on the taskbar, including showing what open applications there are, the time, the weather and a calendar that can pop up (optional on windows) and menu icons pointing to lesser used things, such as software, shortcuts to tweak the OS (control center on Windows) etc. It works for me. Give me a new computer that ISN'T configurable that way, I'll wipe it and start over with one that does. Oh, and I've never seen the use for desktop icons, I have desktop items listed in a dropdown box. Unless I've JUST started the system I never see my bare wallpaper. What's more, icons just don't do it for me. I have WORDS instead of icons where i can. (Win 7's standard little preview windows suck, to me.)

wmstrome
wmstrome

My main complaint with Ubuntu 12.04 is that the upgrade from 11.10 breaks too many things, most importantly, GRUB and the display. I have upgraded on two computers now, and both required a tremendous amount of work to get anything to work at all (no graphics on one until I installed Icewm and booted to that, the other all the disk assignments were changed so would only give message "no such partition" after selecting any OS to boot). Unless the install/upgrade is made to be flawless, I do not see how an ordinary user could ever accept it.

Gerry_z
Gerry_z

I use Kubuntu. I feel right at home with the desktop. I like the multiple desktops available. I tried XCFE on my laptop, but went back to Kubuntu. I probably will not go to a notepad unless it is something like the Asus Transformer which gives me the option of adding a real keyboard. Tried touchscreens on my phoones and went back to a keypad. Touchscreens just don't work for me.

dbl
dbl

I couldn't get the 64bit release of 12.04 to install at all on two different machines. It stalled during install at about 66%. I'll admit it was probably my error in failing to RTFM, but I'm staying with U 10.4 for now. It works just fine on those two units.

CodeCurmudgeon
CodeCurmudgeon

While I'm still sticking with Ubuntu 11.10 with Cinnamon (Mint's Gnome 2.6 fork, 'cause the 11.10 version of Unity is a pain!) My initial testing of 12.04 may just change my mind. Of course I was testing it on a bigger screen. . . I'm running 11.04 on a netbook with a tiny 9", 1024x600 screen, which makes the lack of one-click desktop switching in 11.04 & 11.10 Unity a BIG fat hairy issue. . . At first glance they seem to have heard my cries and fixed that in the 12.04 version. . .

dani
dani

One very important fact was left out and that is an operating system must not slow down after 3 months usage like Windows 7 does especially if you install more than a handful of programs. You can have a wonderful desktop but if it is not responsive and slow that is not much use either. That is one of the reasons I no longer use Windows 7. I might still install it in a VM on Virtualbox though. The Unity desktop in Ubuntu 12.04 has improved a lot and most things now work out of the box and less buggy and more responsive unlike version 11.10. You can also tweak it with the MyUnity utility. I was surprised that Ubuntu 12.04 runs well on an Acer Aspire One ZG5 AOA150 netbook as well. A traditional Windows 95 style start menu is not that desirable on netbooks. I totally agree everyone has their preferences, hence there are plenty of good choices or possibilites to improve some of the existing ones.

jkameleon
jkameleon

It's not about the technology here, but the way people work with computers. This is the classical posture http://www.officemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Early_1920s_Veterans_Bureau_Calculating_WWI_Vet_Bonuses_LOC.JPG User sits behind the desk or some machine like teletype or card puncher). He/she works with both hands with keyboard and eventually mouse. Information is displayed in front of him/her on paper, monitor etc. Nowadays, computers are used more and more like this http://www.profimedia.si/photo/man-with-clipboard-talking-to-woman-in/profimedia-0081805909.jpg The device is held in one hand, and the work is done with the other. The area of interaction is tha same as the area where information is displayed. It doesn't matter, whether the technology is wooden board, pencil and paper, or touchscreen. The posture and the way the work is done is the same. In the both cases, body postures and the way of interaction is substantially different, which means, that user interface requirements are also substantially different. UI optimized for desktop is useless or next to useless for notepads. UI optimized for notepads is very awkward on desktop. And, naturally, ideal desktop for notepad is entirely different than ideal desktop for... well... desktop. Gnome 3, Unity, and Windows 8 are being optimized for notepads. Their developers probably expect notepad market to grow, and they decided to leave the desktop users behind. Users, which do a lot of typing (writers, programmers, etc) will prefer classic UI, optimized for desktop: Classic GNOME, XFCE, Windows 7, etc. BTW, this is probably the reason for the growing popularity of XFCE. Personally, I'm betting on KDE4. Reason: It's flexible enough to accomodate BOTH ways of using computers- desktop, and notepad. I already use KDE on desktop, and my 1st notepad will, hopefully, also run Linux & KDE. I don't think I'll buy any other notepad. Regarding your point #1: Keyboard shortcuts matter only if you have keyboard. For notepad, they are irrelevant. Mouse/finger gestures are far more useful. KDE4 handles that rather nicely

apotheon
apotheon

That is not the perfect universal interface, by any stretch of the imagination. Most users would find that some tasks have become much more difficult with such an interface than they would be with a more "traditional" desktop interface -- and most of the tasks I have to accomplish on a given day would be even more damaged in terms of my efficiency and comfort accomplishing them than that, in part because I write code, write for publication, and have a working environment setup that is far more efficient even than the traditional WIMP model most people use.

LorinRicker
LorinRicker

I will be upgrading my Ubuntu Studio desktop (a kickin' machine) from 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS -- however, online advice tells me to do a bare-metal reinstall, not an upgrade from 10.04 to 12.04 (which, I thought, was one of the points of an LTS), so this promises to be a longer project to move GB's of data safely aside. BTW, Gnome's been problematic as well: Over the past months, I've had several UI "anomolies" introduced (I'm pretty certain) by various software updates &/or app installs, including clobbered Main Menu entries, desktop "visual effects" that always start up with "None" rather than "Normal" upon login, and other glitches. Common advice is to "start over" or "re-install" -- no community or developer understanding for how-to-fix (or even diagnose). Will Unity develop similar bit-rot over its lifetime?

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

Since I boot 4 OS's (can't decide which is best) I keep a data partition for all and when update time comes for any, I just reinstall and everything is clean and shiny and works.

ubducted
ubducted

By default, a person who cannot get it installed cannot accept it. But that's not to say it is not a good product. My personal opinion is that, in general, upgrading an OS is never optimal. Linux, Windows...they are all problematic. A fresh install is best. So do a fresh install and THEN share your comments on whether or not the distribution is good.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I mean, sure, my boot time is crazy, but my overall performance has actually increased with driver updates. I can ignore the 10 minute boot time (no exaggeration, I press power button and go have my morning BM and still get back before its at the login screen) because the system is so fast once its ready to be. The comparison is easy, another dev here has a 4 year old computer, when he clicks play in VS2010 it takes visibly a long time for everything to redraw and compile, when I click play on my machine, its near instant.

dogknees
dogknees

I don't really agree that a significant number of people are working in the "standing up with a tablet" position. My personal observation is that the vast majority still work at a fixed desk or workstation. While management level employees may be making this change, they are a small minority of all those that use a computer at work. Given the relative size of the "standup" group, why are so many articles written about them, and so few about the majority of workers?

george
george

XFCE Not on Jack's list, but no worries. XFCE keeps the original tenant of a low resource full function desktop. I plug in 2 monitors and I get a fully customizable second desktop. I can pin icons or menu bars anywhere I choose and I can connect securely to clients or resources through the file manager as if they are local; all built in. Is Linux a great OS or what! We are actually talking about what desktops we prefer; you will not see this type of discussion on the Windows or Mac forums. I have used Windows since V3.11 and Mac since their roll over to 64bit "Power Macs", but I still prefer Linux for its attention to detail. The two "comercial" OS s still don't get it. Its the little things that just work and are built in that matter. First thing I do when I install Windows is load up the application software to actually get work done; normally putty and some other utilities. First thing I do on my Mac is try and use Finder to ssh to a server to get some work done... Doop. they don't have that functionality yet even though you can ssh from their terminal. Who knows, one day maybe Mac and Microsoft will offer multiple choice on their desktops too; probably no time soon though. As far as tablets; well thats another discussion.

jkameleon
jkameleon

You are right about traditional desktops. That's what I meant when I wrote that users, which do a lot of typing (writers, programmers, etc) will prefer classic UI, optimized for desktop. I disagree about the term "traditional", though. Both ways of using the "information devices" (that includes paper and pencil) are traditional, people are doing this since the time immemorial. Assyrian scribes were using their clay tablets in 2800BC in exactly the same way people are using their Galaxy Notes today: http://knp.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/images/essentials/writingmaterials/bm-ane-118882-large.jpg http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sargon/images/essentials/governors/palacescribe3-large.jpg What matters in the markets, however, are numbers. Tablets are more convenient for information consuming, like browsing the net, watching videos, and even ***gasp*** reading books, IOW for entertainment. Desktop is more convenient for information producing- writing, programming, designing, etc, IOW for professional use. I guess it's not hard to guess on which side the numbers are.

TNT
TNT

Jack wasn't addressing tablets, he was addressing desktop interfaces. Tablets have their place, but the traditional desktop will be around for a long time. I can't even imagine doing detailed image editing, video editing, or a host of other chores on a tablet. There is a reason the pencil and paper "tablet" gave way to typewriters -- efficiency. I also disagree that Unity is geared primarily for tablet devices. If that were true, how could it be Jack, and I's, favorite desktop interface? Which leads me to the question, did you really read the article before commenting, or just skim it?

SKDTech
SKDTech

You assume that most everything that is done on desktops can be done as efficiently on a touchscreen device. For many jobs where the PC is not the main tools used this may be correct. In my experience though, most jobs that require a PC involve a large amount of data entry and I have yet to see a touch-centric device that can equal or exceed the keyboard for entering information quickly and efficently. I can see many jobs that would benefit from the addition of a tablet but the desktop isn't going anywhere for a while yet. Trying to cram the desktop into a tablet interface is a mistake. Function should shape the form, not the other way around. Canonical seems to be moving in a good direction with Unity while it will not surprise me in the least to see Microsoft get a black eye on Windows 8's Metro interface on desktops.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

Try purging the "useless" services that software creators insist on adding with their programs. Ignoring the programs that I have allowed to run at startup, my W7 runs ~28 services. All of the laptops I've looked at run >60 services (before user programs are included) My W7 still boots in about 45 seconds (from off to usable desktop).

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

...like Bodhi, and you will see what fast really is. I barely have time to go #1. (10 min.? Bwahahaha!) Oh, if you persist in running W7, keep cleaning and defragging or it will crawl ever slower over time.

apotheon
apotheon

It's a tenet, not a tenant. A tenant is someone who lives in the building. A Tenant is a member of the Pet Shop Boys.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

Look in: System > Windows Experience Index > Advanced Tools There may be links at the top of the page listing performance issues.

Slayer_
Slayer_

My Windows 95 boots in 20 seconds as well. Including logging in (who logs in on a windows 95? lol) And that's only a 200mhz processor and a hard drive from 1997.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Once it pushes through the long start up, my system is extremely fast.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

"[i]I can ignore the 10 minute boot time (no exaggeration, I press power button and go have my morning BM and still get back before its at the login screen) because the system is so fast once its ready to be.[/i]" I don't follow.

dogknees
dogknees

Mines at login in 20 seconds and functional with about 2-3 seconds of logging in. That's an 18 month old system.

Slayer_
Slayer_

My laptop has windows 7, and has over 100 processes after bootup, and boots in roughly 45 seconds. Including my various programs in startup like steam, pidgin, etc.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I have A LOT of stuff installed, so its bound to happen. To Compensate, I stuck nearly all my daily programs in my startup folder, so at least my computer truly is good and ready when I get back.