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Desktops in trouble

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The main reason I switched to Linux in 2000 was the availability of a viable desktop, in my case KDE 1.1. The Linux world was very different back then and I was even forced to install proprietary tools in order to have all the functionality I needed. Nowadays we have Open Office, MPlayer, VirtualBox and apart from some Wine emulated stuff there isn't a proprietary program in my entire system. We are inclined to take all those things for granted. The next version of any program is bound to be better than the previous one, so why worry.

Well, there are some disturbing developments and they are happening in the key components of our systems: the desktop. KDE has spawned a new release, KDE 4.x, and although it looked promising at first, KDE is in trouble. People are not only complaining about its instability (which is not a good thing in itself) but also about the direction KDE is taking. It is a change of paradigm. KDE has always been what you wanted it to be. You could install it as is and just use it or tweak it until you were happy with it. Just about everything was configurable and every possible feature was available. That was what the KDE audience liked about KDE.

Gnome is in trouble as well but for different reasons.

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