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I miss the cool blog post that always used to accompany or come right before a gnome release that outlined what was new and cool and that would benefit users.
The Gnome-Marketing group need to get together and whip up one of those again, because that was a great way to let people know what to expect.
What are they waiting for, then? Except for usability, they're still playing catch-up to KDE 3.5, and 4.0 is coming. There are external projects offering things like compiz and beagle, but they still aren't part of gnome. Well, tracker will be, for 2.20, that's a good thing. But will that be enough? I don't see them adding grammar & style checking, or any 'next generation desktop' stuff.
I loved the Lisa screenshots some time ago, they showed how the desktop indeed hasn't changed since 1985... And I really miss the ambition at Gnome. I won't use it, of course, big KDE fan, but KDE will need some real competition on the free desktop, and as far as I can see, Gnome won't be it... Maybe Enlightenment, but they've been in alpha for ages.
It probably won't matter how good gnome is or not, the big distro's are so entrenched, they'll deliver it as their desktop, even though they won't ever get ahead on MS that way. But it's limiting for the average Linux user, imho.
Hoping to see a relevant system update come in,
on my Ubuntu drive, sometime soon.
Not going to happen. You will only see Gnome 2.18 in 7.04/Feisty. The entire release schedule of Ubuntu is based off the Gnome release schedule - in other words, every new Gnome will only be in the Ubuntu release that follows it up a month later.