Why Unity? Netbooks vs Tablets

Goal for v5 was to have Leeenux in two flavors, Unity and classic gnome2 with UNE, Unity being reserved for netbooks with Atom CPUs. Even before Unity, I was setting my desktop to be something like it: gnome-do, AWN launcher on the left, Windows7-like snap to grid, etc., but Unity is much more. However, I do consider that Unity’s features are more useful on a small or touch devices than on large widescreen displays. We can all see that many of its features are orientated to save your workspace – scrolling feature, search, and in Ubuntu 12.04 we will see HUD.
Now one can see why Unity is so much hated and why only Canonical of all the great players promotes it. Letting astray that Canonical actually set aside all the bugs and focused only on incorporating so many features, it seems that Mark shared a vision with Steve Jobs on how tablets will mainly replace laptop and desktop computers. Don’t get me wrong, using Unity on my 17” laptop I both hate and love it, but in future I might consider Gnome3 or KDE instead.
Here I saw an opportunity on one field that Ubuntu has completely forgot – older netbooks for which Oneiric is just too slow and large. Leeenux had always in mind to keep those perfectly built (Linus: “notebooks done right”) cheap PCs alive and well. Buying new hardware just because they drop support for it or make software more and more bloated is not how things should be (back in ’98 I was doing 3D MAX animations on 300MHz and 128MB of RAM, and today you need 10x faster machine just to check your email). On such a small screen with resolution of only 1024×600 or 800×480 Unity has proved itself to be quite useful. As already said, it saves space and looks great, if it was a bit faster it would be a perfect netbook environment, true son of Ubuntu Netbook Remix (Edition). At the beginning Leeenux was distro only for eee 4G and 2G, while I was recommending UNR for more advanced netbooks. Now this is not a case, and I could recommend Ubuntu only for netbooks with dual-core Atoms and more than 1GB of RAM.
Unfortunately even Unity2D is too slow for popular eee 4G and 2G and UNE and gnome2 is outdated. For those netbooks there are LXDE editions.
I prefer netbooks over tablets for many reasons, mainly because there is much power and freedom to do whatever you like vs. almost no freedom at all. “Think of the children”: kids nowdays with tablets do only multimedia, gaming and social networking, with netbook they would have to learn something as I eventually did when I first discovered that PC is much more than a gaming console.
Many who want to keep such a device will go and install some lighter distro, and that’s fine, but most of the netbook users want ease of use and looks, out of the box. We live in the MS Windows world, and most of the netbooks run XP. I would not like to see netbooks dying with XP on them. Leeenux is not aimed at getting users to switch from Arch, Puppy etc., but from XP (and crippled 7) and to see that Linux is not only for geeks, to see that it is more useful, easier to use and far prettier than what they used to have. The power of Ubuntu as a base and Unity is that they make all this possible.

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