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Since Ubuntu 11.10 will support both (Unity by Default and Gnome3 after installing it from the Repos) I was wondering

  • What characteristics do each of them offer for the end user.

  • What changes can an end user perceive that will help he/she accomplish tasks.

  • Basically what do each offer to the end user to make their desktop experience better. This can help in knowing a little more about each of them in a way of comparing.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • I think that Gnome Shell is a little more comfortable to navigate with the mouse only. It does have keyboard shortcuts too, and they work well, but I think Unity is a little better in that regard. Both are quite nice.
  • With Unity 2D being a real alternative and not just a fallback mode, it means that you can have a more consistent UI across different kinds of computers. It's also usable with a terminal server like NX, which Gnome shell is not.
  • The graphics in Gnome Shell seems to be a little more mature than Unity. It's somewhat snappier, although Unity has come a long way during the past months and it quite nice too.
  • The big one for me, is Zeitgeist. Unity has integrated it in a beautiful way. Your system seems to learn from your actions and become faster with time. It's designed in a way that seems to welcome many different lenses and scopes, and I think it'll be very useful. I'm sure Gnome Shell will get this too, but Unity is a few laps ahead in this respect.
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Man you should sell computers, you bought me with that. I was going to use gnome shell but after this am going to give unity several weeks of try. – Luis Alvarado Oct 11 '11 at 21:05

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