Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ubuntu Linux- In need of a unique identity

Lucid Lynx is set to spot a new look when it makes its debut come this April. The days of the Earth brown Ubuntu colors are over, replaced by fresh looking new designs. However, despite its aesthetic looks and feel, I am of the view that Ubuntu is still in need of a unique identity if it has decided to do away with the brown.

In as much as I appreciate the level of work that has gone into the making of the new themes and visual appearance, I still strongly believe that it is actually a step in the wrong direction. Let me explain myself. You see, with the brown, Ubuntu was unique. There was no other OS in the world that spotted those colors. It actually symbolized Ubuntu in many respects, not least of which is the origin of the name. It gave it an aura of 'uncommoness' that is rare.

Now fast forward to Lucid Beta 1 and bam, a nice looking theme and visual appearance that is not unlike that of an existing software. In all honesty, I believe the new visual appearance of Ubuntu has too much resemblance to Mac OS. Let's face it, if Microsoft were to be the one coming out with this, all of us would have made a laughing stock of Redmond by now. I remember seeing blog posts in the initial days of Windows 7 about how MS is mimicking Mac OS.

Sure I can change it to my brown, but so too could the brown have been changed by anyone who actually wanted something else. Yes it was time to breath new life into the visual appearance of Ubuntu, but the breath should have been as unique, if not more than the one it was meant to replace. It's little wonder then, that part of these changes have caused a massive storm of user protests, so much so, that Shuttleworth had to tell the community how far their views could go.

Yes there needed to be change in the way Ubuntu looked from the factory, but the change should have added to the uniqueness of it, not cause people to actually have to think twice to know that Ubuntu is not Mac OS. Change is good, but a unique form of change is even better. What do you think? 

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

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