"Give me a platform, I will amaze the world" says top-designer Aaron Cheng. Is Windows Blue, Linux Ubuntu or Apple's OSX too familiar and much of the same, this is different. Yet, there are a lot of technical issues to resolve. It's a design concept, but with quite interesting aspects. However, nothing for mobiles I suppose... John
Posts tagged with "desktop"
The "leaked" version of a new Microsoft 'Windows' release has hit the headlines. Windows Blue could be the precursor of a "desk-topless" display system. So without file or task manager, but only with so-called "live tiles". Is this the road to Windows-9, then we might expect to see a new OS in the future without "Desktop" at all and without compatibility with all that went before it on the Windows ecosystem.
Is this Microsoft's answer to the overwhelming success of Linux, Android and the iOS? Or is it a necessary answer to its stalling sales? Is the "desktop" in danger and will everybody switch to touchscreens?
I doubt it very much!
Since the capacity of cellphones, tablets and similar net-devices is nowhere near that of desktop computers with their file managers and flexible user-interfaces, the 'apps' running on them hardly above toy-levels, I truly doubt one can do without proven user interfaces not obscured by prefixed windoids in a variety of colors and difficult learning curves with gestures. It rather appears to me another way to open the next 'app-store' to bind and have users pay for in-house applications running on Windows Blue.
As you might know I have serious doubts about 'Cloud'-computing and 'desktopless' gadgets. What I have seen so far with cellphones underlines my doubts. What if one day the 'Cloud' breaks down? Give me my Desktop (computer) and I can continue doing my work, even on a solar panel if required. But what if we rely way too much on OS's and programs (partly) stored on the Internet? Could it happen? Sure. One strong solar storm would be enough, or war, or even when the money (as we know it) goes out. Are you prepared for that occasion? That's why I stay on my (KDE Linux) Desktop and keep my business afloat notwithstanding the "hypes"...
Ubuntu, still the most popular Linux desktop, is seeking its place on the consumer market with an 'all-in-one' concept, suggesting that the user interface for a power PC is to a major extent similar to a mobile phone or a even TV-set.
I allowed myself 3 months to daily follow and test Kubuntu/KDE, the Linux distro using parts of Ubuntu but with KDE on top. Of course using the latest daily and sometimes even nightly updates, up to Kubuntu/KDE 13.04 RC2. I used it in my production environment: investigative journalism, blogging and photography. A best way to discover more about the 'User Interface Revolution' that is taking place right before our eyes. An IT revolution is on its way.
This time I am not so sure that Microsoft has set the trend as it did with its Windows XP (WIMP) Desktop some 12 years ago. It appears to me that this time the economic crisis (sic) and hype about cheap mobility gadgets with icon-based user interfaces and mostly insignificant "Apps" are driving the waves to change the desktop, i.e. how things look when starting your device: a PC, laptop, netbook, tablet, phone and anything else with a display. Take those "icons" themselves. Works of art, sometimes. However many of them representing objects that a younger generation not even knows they existed! A floppy disk, archive box, fixed line phone, photo film etc.
The KDE 4 development using "Plasma" workspaces and running on top of the Linux OS (but also on MS-Windows and Apple's OS-X, though in a problematic way) is so 'flexible', so 'customizable' and up-to-date that a user can fairly easily compose his/her own personal desktop, whether it looks like Ubuntu Unity, OS-X or Windows 7. Reason to thorougly investigate KDE's desktop and where we stand today...
Xubuntu, the small footprint version of Ubuntu with Xfce Desktop Environment, is used as a basis for this French adaptation, called: Voyager. I couldn't get more information because the voyager-legtux.org website appeared to be hacked and was temporarily closed. So you'll have to try later to find more. Nevertheless for smaller laptops and people requiring a low footprint this might be an interesting product for testing.
Ubuntu 12.04 'Precise Pangolin' is getting its shape. Some may like it, others not. Menus seem to appear next to the items in the sidebar aka 'lenses', the infamous "recent items" can be toggled on and off and text input makes finding a file "easier". The desktop design is neat, with Ubuntu One under a ... Qt interface! Qt (:cute) is what pushed KDE 4.8 sky high during the last several months. A very nice software installer is present with tons of information about available software packages. Compiz effects have been adjusted for it. Some first reactions say it is 'fast', although the initial movie images (first minutes or so, see icon loading) don't show this. A recent Phoronix test reveals this OS appears not to be the best one for computers older than 5 years. We now wait for the final releases to see if this concept gains ground against Gnome 3 experiments and a mature KDE product-line, let alone Windows 8...
KDE 4.8 exposed itself as a solid OS, with an interesting auto-recovery from failing applications. I never lost my KDE plasma desktops, or should I say: workspaces, or activities? Confusing as it at first appeared, I needed several days of studying to establish what the differences were between workspaces and activities! To put it oversimple: activities are more than workspaces, rather call them 'dedicated workspaces' for specific work you do. The difference lies in the organization of a workspace, in other words: what you are doing where and which optimized screen design goes with it.
Each workspace can have it own content and layout, together an activity. Activities aren't volatile and will be available upon a restart. An amazingly clever KDE-concept I found, that -once understood- expedited my productivity by factors. No chaotic to-and-fro to panels and screen-corners to zoom to overviews first, typing 'search-texts' to get somewhere and find some associated utilities, but using dedicated workspaces instead, to get to my work in the, for me, right environment immediately, ready to start. No need for more mouse-clicks and searches. With a touch-screen you could do this even more efficiently!
For users who want a bleeding edge, highly customizable, stable and fast, conventional desktop (to depart from) for an office-PC, better laptop, even a netbook, KDE might be your choice. The same for tablets and smart-phones, although here a different KDE-product applies: KDE Active II. I work with Linux Mint KDE on Kubuntu using its updated repositories for Muon, the new KDE software manager. What about workspaces and activities? See my movie...
Here is what you might expect from KDE 4.8:
Do you believe next year...
- will be better for me
- will be the same as now
- will be worse for me
- makes no difference
- never thought of it
Total: 14 votes
|May 2013July 2013|
Sign up for DropBox
Your Harddisk in the Cloud
My News Choice
On my articles and music (c) restrictions apply
Me and my guitar - strictly for You
My Bacor-movie Tune
'Save link' to download music
Golden oldie in latin style
Toxic, as we know it, with a twist
Funcky bass music
Jazzy upbeat music
With Gitta (accordeon) & Gerald (woods)
Bye Bye Blackbird
Candles for Angeliki (new)
Some Retsina and soft light
All thru the Night (chacha)
Just for fun
Secret love (quick)
The Wind (digital version)
Candles for Angeliki slow (new)
After a few Retsinas...
What a difference...
With piano part
Curacao (slow latin)
Just nice to play
Upbeat simple melody
Just an experiment
East from Bacor
Steel imitation multitracker
So easy... to love (multitrack)
Some guests played along
The closing bell
Dance On - backing track
Play along like the Shadows