Ok, so there's the buzz of Canonical (wanting to) switch for new Ubuntu version from the GNOME default desktop to their own Unity shell. (I hope that's accurate.)
It seems I can not totally fathom what Unity actually is. For looking at its homepage it currently is firmly targeted at netbooks and the somehow different usage model on these.
- Is it a classical desktop? -- Taskbar? Shortcuts?
- Is the difference between Ubuntu(GNOME)+Unity more/less pronounced than the difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu?
- Will "my parents" be able to get the interface if they've been using the classical gnome desktop so far?
Edit: I would not like to split this up into more specific questions, as What is Unity? is exactly what the people I set up Ubuntu boxes for will ask me if they hear that the newer Ubuntu version is using that instead of the Desktop -- and it might well happen someone phrases it like that :-)
I will certainly not give them the link to the HP as the explanation there does not lay out if it is a desktop or something more or something less: (It does not for me - therefore I'm asking here.)
Unity is designed for netbooks and related touch-based devices. It includes [...] that makes it fast and easy to access [...] while removing screen elements that are rarely used in mobile and netbook computing.
(emphasis mine) -- the explanation there doesn't even mention the desktop-PC!
Unity has a vertical task management panel on the left-hand side and a menu panel at the top of the screen. [...]
This sounds like a re-themed normal desktop.
Clicking on an icon will give the target application focus if it is already running or launch it if it is not already running. If you click the ...
Aha. Sounds like Windows 7.
... icon of an application that already has focus, Unity will activate an Expose-style view of all the open windows associated with that application.
No clue what that's supposed to be.
So it would really be nice if someone could explain for non desktop-design-terms experts what Unity is.