Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Mar 2014 00:00 UTC

Major new features for this release include a significant update to the experience for finding and installing applications, as well as major facelifts for the Videos and gedit applications. Those who have high resolution displays will benefit from greater support, and users will experience better start up times as well as more efficient resource usage. They will also be able to quickly organize their applications with the new application folders feature.

I remember a time when GNOME and KDE releases were big deals here. Feels like eons ago, a distant memory from an irrelevant past.

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People needs and hobby
by acobar on Thu 27th Mar 2014 15:11 UTC
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First and foremost, a DE will be always needed to work productively on many fields, be them creating apps, working with engineering projects (besides software), planning and so on and so forth. If you have a need, it is so flexible and powerful that you should use a basic level of organizational methods to really enjoy them; most people just don't have the need or the drive.

Second, most OSnews readers are probably the kind of people that likes to fiddle with things, in this case particularly, with computers and gadget stuff. And now we have more gadgets to disperse our attention. Also, as already said, DE are approaching maturity on interaction methods, even if you sweep and replace the underground, what most users will see is about the same. It is hard to excite this way, and I see it as a positive thing. Also a lot of us don't use the tons of features they make available (don't know about Gnome but KDE is fantastic on how you can automatize lots of things and how you can access things remotely like they were on your own computer) and even less use the latest "new!" one.

Third, the (immense) majority of people didn't need a desktop from the start, it was a hype that cost them time and money for not that much benefit. Smartphones are a way more consumer friendly appliance, one that I actually recommend people to buy.

Also, many things are going "Cloud" from where you can access them from anywhere: email, contacts, calendar, communication logs, photo exchanging, music, movies and all. And they are easier to use from phones.

These things leave us with a small fraction of the population to really "care" about a particular desktop and it does not help that most of them are so ingrained on MS Windows environment (nothing against, I actually like Windows 7 but prefer KDE very much) that only an huge disregard to their requests would make them move, and MS IS capitulating.

That is the reality for all free DEs and the reason the developers should think very hard before shuffling the current interaction methods, your "users" may very well disband.

The critics about the reform of the underground foundation, well, at some point they are needed, as anyone that had created a complex application can attest. Unluckily for free software, developers with time and will to keep up with the changes are scarce, so the DE developers should be wise enough to minimize the "cost" the reform will bring.

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