For me Gnome and Unity are just different ways of navigating. To say the truth both are fairly good to me right now.
not quite sure of what this thread is REALLY trying to say.
Do we NEED another OS - probably not for classical applications (What's wrong with W7) -- but do we NEED a new BMW model, a NEW DVD player, a NEW TV etc etc. Also probably not. But that's surely to miss the point.
A few years ago I was 100% satisfied with a "Bog standard" LCD TV -- now though with new services, much faster Broadband, etc there are things on my new SMART TV that I would really miss not having on it these days -- direct internet streaming, Network media playing, etc.
I've given my old DVD recorder / player to the Charity shop as I certainly won't use this type of device any more -- on the very rare times I want to play a physical DVD I just plug in a cheap (25 EUR) external DVD device to either a computer and stream it to the TV --or the latest TV's play these (as well as HDD's) directly from the USB slot.
So do we Need a new OS -- if we want to take advantage of current and newer services and devices -- Yes.
If you are happy with a traditional Non Touch desktop and work with "classical applications" -- then probably No - at least not while W7 fulfils all the boxes.
I'm sure that even the most ardent tablet fan wishes at times for a more sophisticated or functional device such as an Ultrabook.
It's all very well saying tablets have enough processing power and capability to perform windows functions these days - but I'd hate to rely on using a tablet for making a complex spread sheet or doing Photoshop while travelling -- they are horrible to use --the whole "weight distribution" (what little there is of it) is all wrong -- a tablet is a Horrible form factor for these types of jobs - even the Hybrids don't from what I've seen so far "feel right".
But we DO need OS's that incorporate different devices -- and making loads of different OS's is not the best use of a company's manpower. Incidentally same with a Restaurant --if you see in the window - "157 choices of Dish today" then you know it's time to move on -- pretty well all decent Michelin Starred restaurants have a very few selections on the menu at any one time.
As far as Linux is concerned I've never like GNOME - always preferring KDE as a desktop. Probably why I stuck with Red Hat and Suse ( now Opensuse ). I still don't see Linux as a desktop for "The masses" though -- as a server fine but there are too many issues for using Linux as a desk top over large company LANS. I'm not saying it's never been done but the TCO and savings in switching from Windows aren't actually anything like the initial projections suggests.
Jimbo - sometimes less is more.
BTW I don't think Ms will make a 5 - 7 inch Phablet -- these are REALLY HORRIBLE devices -- too big and bulky to be used sensibly as a phone -- I always burst out laughing when I see one of these slabs being used a s a phone and the wretched user is spitting all over the screen. Even the very desirable new Samsung Galaxy IV phone (the new one) is a bit of a 5 inch monster -- about the absolute maximum size you could conceivably call "A mobile phone". The Galaxy IIIs is about the optimum maximum size for a smart phone if you also need internet etc capabilities.
You really need to take note of the theme in the link. Can I convey my message in less words?
That's me -- I'm not part of the "Twitter" generation where I have to convey everything in 140 characters or less or even worse - the Facebook stuff.
The whole point surely of The WRITTEN word is that it can be perused leisurely and re-read multiple times.
If people don't want to read that's their choice.
Actually I wonder if one could learn even something basic like simple arithmetic if they were restricted to "Twitter" like responses only.
Sometimes the enjoyment of a load of people's posts and threads is not purely just on the content - but the writing style / content / wit (or lack of it) and all sorts of intangibles.
Writing everything in a Machine like and boring way just IMO loses half the fun and spontaneity of the Forum.