At first glance it looked like just the thing for netbooks. My resulting blog post on the topic was so incredibly negative that I ended up deleting the post and just decided to never speak of Unity again…
Yeah, I wasn’t a big fan. It was really that bad.
I’m glad to say that my opinion has changed. On a whim, I installed Unbuntu 11.10 on my new netbook earlier this week. I don’t recall if it was a conscious decision or not, but I ended up with Unity. So far I’m digging it quite a bit.
What’s changed? Usability.
For instance, adding and removing icons from the launcher is easily accomplished with a right-click. Running apps show up in the launcher. If you’re running something that you want to keep on the launcher just right-click on it and choose “keep in launcher” – a lot like “Pinning” in Windows 7. Remove items from the launcher from the right-click menu as well.
Want to shuffle things around? Click and hold (or click and drag slightly to the right) and then move and drop it where you want it on the launcher.
Those two things alone are dramatic improvements. If they were possible when I first looked at Unity I sure never figured out how.
After I installed it, many of my “typical” Netbook Setup steps still applied so I was able to quickly get to something I was comfortable with.
Do I love the launcher bar on the left? At first I didn’t think I would like it but it works really well with a widescreen. Even one as small as 1024×600 like the netbook has.
Oh, and speaking of the netbook, the dual-core Atom proc seems work well with Ubuntu 11.04. Not a power-house but not gimpy either. It gets the job done just fine (and I bet the upgrade to 2GB RAM doesn’t hurt!). I’m pleased.
Now if I could just solve the Exchange client thing…