Pimp My Linux!

See the Novell XGL desktop demos here!

"Today on Pimp My Linux we're going to take this old, slightly dusty perfectly efficient linunx desktop environment and turbocharge it! We're goin to make it a memory hogging, video chip burning bad ass piece of software!"

Operating systems like Mac OSX have quite a lot of "bling" going on in their GUI. Windows Vista is only in public beta 1 but it's showing it's fair share of desktop fireworks (though there may be none by the time they ever release it). Now Novell has put together a wiggley windowed, transparent doodad, Mac OSx looking desktop interface for linux. Click the link above and be dazzled! (video quality is not super but you see what's going on, and the backs of peoples heads.)

To me it's a bit like the Hummer. People buy it because they like the way it looks or what it say's about them, not because it's good for anything. It uses WAY more resources than it needs to do it's job and it's just a way for manufacturers to sell the latest hardware that's needed to drive this software. (In the case of Hummers, to sell a LOT of gas, and overpriced vehicles, etc.)

I can imagine a future where processing power is huge enough that any GUI we can throw at it won't be more than an insignificant blip on the system. That time is not here yet but I can see how OS GUI's can evolve over time to take the most advantage of all the power available, someday becoming a beautiful, artistic expression of the developers vision. All this and not taking resources away from the software that's actually trying to accomplish something.

I think average users, don't care that much about any of it. Sure, subconsciously they may be drawn to something that's more asthetically pleasing but they're not going to care about having the the latest graphics processor just to run their OS, when all they want to do is surf the internet. So they'll buy a low end PC. Anyone else who want's to be productive may just want a fast and responsive system, like me. High end game players, with the hardware mods and tricked out gaming rigs, may infact want an equally blingy OS....

Right now I'm the type of guy who turns of ALL effects in Windows XP because I like menus and windows to just blink into and out of existance, even though my system has the power to handle anything the XP interface can throw at it. But that's just me.

On the other hand, my next machine will be a Mac and I've always admired the interface on the latest Mac OSes, how much of it I'll shut off, I won't know till I get it in my hot little hands for a while.

In the mean time, I'm off to install Windows Vista RC1 to see how slick it is with all the "bling" turned off! Minumum requirements my arse! :D

I'll keep you posted, thanks for reading.