Are You Looking Forward to GNOME 3?

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 05, 2011

GNOME 3.0 will be officially released tomorrow to what will almost assuredly be a bunch of fanfare. It's been five years in the making with contributions from over 3,500 developers. It's had quite a bit of press and blog coverage already and opinions will most likely multiply in the days ahead. But how do regular users feel about the upcoming GNOME 3.0 against the backdrop of the debates over the good and bad points?

A year ago I started a poll on my Website to gauge excitement over GNOME 3.0 which was just starting to get some buzz and included early screenshots. Then in February of this year I asked again after quite a bit of coverage had been circulating forming a more complete picture of just how the new desktop would look and operate.

When looking at the numbers the most outstanding difference between last year and earlier this year is not so much with feelings toward GNOME 3.0, but the drastic change from those who chose "Use KDE" or "Other." In 2010 62% of respondents chose "Use KDE" compared to 39% in 2011. 3% said "Use Other" last year while 9% chose that option this year. This tends to indicate that GNOME and even other desktops in general are taking some of KDE's users.

However, when looking at user anticipation of GNOME 3.0 the numbers seem to indicate a slight increase in enthusiasm despite a number of recent negative articles and unpopular developments. Those that can hardly wait has increased by 3% over the year as did the number of those mildly excited.

While that looks promising for GNOME 3, the numbers for those not excited, indifferent, and dreading it also increased. In 2010 4% were not excited or just plain indifferent while those numbers increased to 7% this year. Only 2% dreaded the GNOME 3 release in 2010 but increased to 8% this year. Apparently some of those recommending or using KDE in 2010 decided to express an opinion on GNOME either on general purposes or because they had recently switched to GNOME.

In any case, the number of those looking forward to GNOME 3.0 has seemed to increase over the last year and they will soon be rewarded. GNOME 3 is expected tomorrow (April 6) and distribution developers will soon began featuring it in upcoming releases. Fedora was the first major distribution to announce plans to feature the new desktop in its next release expected in May. But smaller projects could still beat them to the punch.

The Numbers

GNOME 3.0 January 2010 February 2011
Cant' Wait 13% 16%
Mildly Excited 11% 14%
Not Excited 4% 7%
Indifferent 4% 7%
Dreading it 2% 8%
Use Something Else 65% 48%
Total Votes23741535