posted by Kroc Camen on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:02 UTC, submitted by fsmag
IconFrom Free Software Magazine: "Google promises a much needed shift in the way small computers work. Problems like software updates, backups, installation, maintenance, viruses, have plagued the world for too long: a shift is way overdue. To me, however, the change about to happen shows us what many people have refused to believe for a long time: KDE and GNOME shot each other dead."

I held back on publishing this as I had been working on a lengthy opinion piece that tries to summarise a lot of the ‘jist’ I have been getting out of a stream of articles since the Chrome OS announcement.

This opinion piece is about the paradagim change Chrome OS is set to bring about, even if makes most cringe at the thought. The Free Software Magazine article also touches on this, noting how Chrome OS changes a number of common things and that Chrome OS eschews such features because both KDE and GNOME have been incompetent at bringing about simplification of the Linux software stack.

I am intimately sure (although I can’t prove it) that if GNU/Linux had one set of desktop libraries, one desktop environment, one set of standard for playing audio and so on, we would have those libraries in Google Chrome OS. Google would have released a set of tools to bundle software in Chrome OS — something without the absurd current problems of software installation in GNU/Linux.

Whilst I don’t personally think that KDE and GNOME were ever up for consideration by Google, I do think that there is a lot of truth in this statement:--

With Google Chrome OS, both KDE and GNOME are suddenly less relevant — and they will become less and less relevant as time goes by.

--And because of that, I also present my article on the topic of Chrome OS; "This Is Where We Are Going". I warn you though that this is an opinion piece that will no doubt anger some, and does not represent the views or opinions of OSnews itself.

I believe this is something that I think is difficult for us geeks to discuss because our skills are not representative of the majority, nor their requirements; and KDE and GNOME have not provided an Internet experience that is significantly better than other offerings. As desktop environments, they are good, but they do not change enough of the desktop experience to matter to most regular users. I can have the exact same Internet experience on KDE as I can have on Windows or OS X. There’s no differentiation here.

Moblin is a much bigger step in the right direction. The Year of Desktop Linux has been talked about on OSnews for as long as there have been DEs. Personally I believe that timeframe has now passed and the "Desktop" will be going away, just as GNOME and KDE have finally got themselves into shape. We always imagined that the fabled Year of Desktop Linux would be with KDE or GNOME but now I feel that the answer is more likely with Chrome OS (or Chromium OS).

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