Eye Candy

Being a linux user doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a good looking Desktop. GNOME for example has a nicely drawn and simple windows. KDE on the other hand are constantly improving the user-interface and the latest version has window transparency. In fact, if you look at it from a distance you'd think it's a Windows Vista PC :D


GNOME thumb


KDE thumb

You could also try the Enlightenment window manager. This window manager is featured in the ELive Live-cd (a Debian based distro) and the Linitrix Distro. The enlightenment window manager is a mixture of transparent windows (featured in Vista) and Apple Mac OSX's widget tool bar.

Elive thumb

Another Linux Window manager is the DirectFB. This window manager utilizes transparent windows and a 3D Desktop view. The DirectFB project started in 2000 and is at a very mature stage of development. DirectFB is very much similar in look to KDE's latest version.

DirectFB thumb

Sun Microsystems started a project in 2003 entitled "Project looking glass". Though this project is only a demo that was presented in some conference and apparently abandoned thereafter. The interesting thing about this project is that there is great similarity between the 3D user interface in the demo and in Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista product line. KDE's latest window transparency feature mimics Microsoft Windows Vista's window transparency to a larger extent.

Microsoft's Windows Vista Screenshot

Windows Vista thumb

Sun's looking glass screenshot

SUN Looking glass thumb

Who's copying who?

I can't say but someone probably patented the 3D desktop and/or window transparency feature and a trip to the patent office should answer this question. Having said that, your guess is probably right.

I don't really care that much for eye-candy. As long as the machine does what I ask it to do, I'm happy.. I could guess that eye-candy in Vista - and any other product - is a marketing thing. Apparently - and unfortunately - the majority of consumers judge the book by it's cover. I can't blame them though. Sitting in front of a pleasantly looking screen would probably make the user-experience easier - from a psychological point of view - and would generate a feeling of awe that is very desirable when marketing a product.


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