When I killed my old notebook computer last year (display gone) I despised the idea of having to use Windows Vista. However, in the shopI realised that all notebooks come with Vista preinstalled. No choice, had to buy one of those – but I also took along an additional copy of XP.
At home Vista had to go, right away. On two partitions of my freshly formated HD I set up XP and a copy of Kubuntu, which I had sitting in my drawer as a life CD for quite some time and was eager to try out.
Thus now every time I boot up I have a choice, Linux or XP. As much as I would love to actually turn my back on XP completely, there are two things that keep me from doing so.
One: Photoshop, which is dead slow under Wine.
Two: a few custom databases, that simply cannot import to open office.
As far as Kubuntu ist concerned, I love it! I love it’s looks! I love the fact, that you get a very wholesome package, with OpenOffice, an e-mail suite, a music library and even a small, simple gadget like the included calculator, SpeedKrunch, is an awesome tool to play with.
And after half a year on Kubuntu it is safe to conclude, thet KDE desktop was the better choice! The fact that it can be customized in almost any aspect, and very simply the ways desktop icons behave are its strongest advanteges over Gnome (what you would get with Ubuntu).
Gnome is neat in it’s cohesiveness. It looks very well planned through – and not all apps under KDE do. It’s mostly due to Gnome’s restrictive Interface Guidelines (an inspireing read for ALL developers, I guess) that it comes with such a well planned desktop. That is certainly nice for novices, and brings about a coherent design in all Gnome applications. However, it also forces developer to “hide” functions deep in their menu structure – a nuicance.
With KDE4.1 coming up the look and feed of KDE will improve even further, I’m particularly curious about their use of SVG-Icons.
For those with a little bit of spare time on their hands, try out a life CD of (K)Ubuntu and have a look yourselves! If you need any help, there is a large community, plenty of good websites and also xtopic might help, if you speak German:)