Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Aug 2007 22:10 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux It is not too surprising that Ubuntu came in first in's 2007 Desktop Linux Market Survey, or that Firefox was the topmost browser by far. More interesting is that for the first time ever in the site's annual surveys, GNOME surpassed KDE among desktop environments (45% over 35%), with Xfce a solid third (8%).
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Ubuntu and GNOME
by da_Chicken on Thu 23rd Aug 2007 11:02 UTC
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Several posts here say that Ubuntu put GNOME on the map. You could also think it the another way around: GNOME (and Debian) put Ubuntu on the map.

Ubuntu was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Shuttleworth employed a bunch of Debian's top developers and they took Debian's new easy-to-use installer before Debian proper managed to make use of it. They also took Debian's big package repository, new packages from Debian Unstable and, of course, Ubuntu took Debian's excellent package manager.

Then Ubuntu packaged the new Xorg and the GNOME desktop that was just becoming a mature and polished desktop environment. GNOME had a good set of desktop applications (especially if you add some third party applications, like Openoffice and Firefox) and when Ubuntu was first started, GNOME was just getting some advanced features, like the automatic mounting of removable media.

Ubuntu developers did a good job in packaging the right components of the Free and Open Source Software but they were also extremely lucky with their timing. Now that also Debian has an easy installer and relatively up-to-date packages (including GNOME with the auto-mounting of removable media), Ubuntu doesn't look that special any more.

Popularity has a kind of snowball effect -- when new people try GNU/Linux, they pick almost without exception the flavour that seems to be the most popular at the moment. But, in the long run, people also like to taste some other available flavours.

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