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Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth: We can surpass Apple in two years

Kubuntu
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has big dreams for Linux. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been following the progress of Ubuntu, which releases a major update every six months and keeps getting more and more user friendly. But user friendly is just the beginning. Shuttleworth wants Linux to be prettier too. In fact, he's calling on open source developers to make desktop Linux more attractive than OS X within 2 years.

Shuttleworth's remarks came yesterday at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, or OSCON. Open source developers have been making great strides in this area recently. Many Linux distributions include support for Compiz desktop effects which add a bit of visual bling to the desktop experience while also making things like switching virtual desktops a bit easier. And the developers behidn the KDE desktop environment have scrapped the Windows-like interface of KDE 3 and replaced it with a whole new paradigm in KDE 4 -- we're note entirely convinced that KDE 4 is easier to use than KDE 3, but it's certainly prettier.

On the other hand, it's a bit funny to hear Shuttleworth talk about making Linux more beautiful. After all, Ubuntu is frequently mocked for its default dull brown color scheme. But the operating system and its user interface are already extraordinarily customizable.

What do you think? Is it possible for desktop Linux to become as "beautiful," and user-friendly as OS X within 2 years? What would it take? And keep in mind, it's not like Apple is going to just sit still while Linux developers are working on the challenge. Who knows what the Mac OS will look like two years from now?

Tags: linux, mark-shuttleworth, os-x, osupdates, ubuntu, user-interface

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