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Ubuntu popularity in downward spiral, is Unity to blame?

By Leeky
Nov 24, 2011
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  1. Ubuntu Unity sucks eggs. Period. It offers no new inspiring vision of a desktop that I was hoping for, and the only thing it adds for certain is an incredible amount of cognitive friction to the user who wants to do anything more than launch firefox. The worst UI designs hide the user's options or available actions neatly away from the user, which Ubuntu Unity does very well and in unique and hard-thought ways.

    A real shame for Ubuntu.
  2. Let me get this right. You post three graphs. Two are based on Distrowatch. One of those for one day, November 23rd. The Google graph can hardly be called a spiral. And you hype this as conclusive proof that Ubuntu has tanked.

    I question your methodology and your conclusion. DW puts Minty ahead of Ubuntu. Google puts it significantly behind. Clem Lefebvre admits Ubuntu is about three times larger which backs Google's position and show DW to be useless as a tool for anything but sensationalism.

    Imagine if Billboard made its top 100 based on a +1 instead of sales. Would that make an accurate reflection of who the best selling artist is? Hardly.
  3. Thank you, that was a most informative post.
  4. peasantmk2

    peasantmk2 TS Rookie

    I've just started dabbling with Unity in 11.10, and I've got to admit that I prefer the more 'traditional' Gnome look of 10.4 (which I use all the time). However, the way things are moving in IT, more and more tablets are going to appear, and I see exactly where Ubuntu are coming from. Up until now it has been easy really, as all you've had are laptops, and desktops. Now you have them, and tablets, and smartphones. All UI designers are now trying for a one size fits all, including MS with Windows 8. Therefore I am prepared to put up with Unity. However, what is being ignored (IMO) are all those people who are not prepared to change, don't want to change, or are unable to change (silver surfers spring to mind). MS are ignoring them as well, which could be a huge mistake.
  5. Not a fan of Unity, but I didn't find Linux Mint to be that much better when it came to performance, detecting my drivers, etc. (which is odd, considering it is a snapshot of Ubuntu). Switched to Ubuntu 11.10, changed some of the navigation features (mimicking Apple's Expose') and I have a usable machine again. Stable, too (though Gwibber still seems to be powered by drunk hamsters).

    I'm using Ubuntu solely as a Desktop solution. I don't really tweak anything anymore and just need a machine that's stable and works despite the oddity that is Unity. On an actual server I use Debian which, with its command line, delivers day after day.

    The Unity bar and the fact that the tool-bar menus disappear is still high on my annoyance list, but I'm noticing that I'm getting used to it to the point where I probably won't be bothered by it soon.
  6. I am not sure if I believe these numbers, but Unity is the reason for the decline. I am still using it, but I am struggling. The next release will have to fix most of the problems, or I am out.

    I have my fingers crossed.
  7. For many years Ubuntu users have "create" a way to work on Ubuntu/Gnome
    With Unity they can't anymore so : Unity is the main reason.
  8. I would possibly accept Unity. The main drawback for me is the increased hardware demand. Ubuntu was ideal for older or weaker machines as contemporary replacement of XP. Latest version of Ubuntu is running much slowly than previous versions. I will stay with 10.04 LTS until is supported and then I will have to move to another distro. Too bad. Have been with Ubuntu for 5 years, running it on 4 machines in our family...
  9. I agree that Unity is to blame.

    I've used several distros and moved back to Debian for stability, personally, but always installed Ubuntu to my friend's with chronic computer virus problems. After Unity's release I was lost though. I'll admit that after using it for a few days (new work computer, needed hardware support ASAP) there were a few things that do work a bit better, but it's far to drastic of a shift. I ended up with Debian, backports, manual firmware installs, and a working stable *familiar* system.

    What Ubuntu was doing for Linux popularity was great, and it's a shame to see them take such a dive. Ubuntu was good because it was what it was. Trying to do something so drastically different will alienate people, and I'd bet there are other techs like me out there that just don't have the time or drive to learn another UI when we have Windoze to deal with doing that already!

    Personally I would like to see an OPTIONAL Unity install. I know it might be hard to fit on a single CD, but if during installation (or a separate download) I could have my pick of Unity or Gnome, I'd be happy. But that's a lot to maintain...And rolling back to Gnome, which I tried, wasn't as trivial as it seemed. It look me less time to get Squeeze working on brand new hardware I'd never worked on than it did to fail rolling back to Gnome. To me, it just wasn't worth the effort to make Ubuntu work how I wanted it to. I chose Ubuntu because I don't need to do that.


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