5 of 10Image
4. KDE 4.8 activities
I've always admired desktop activities. With the rollout of KDE 4.8, this feature has been made easier to use, as well as more effective and reliable. If you've never experienced KDE activities, KDE 4.8 is a good time to try. With a quick access button, preconfigured activities, and a much more responsive and reliable system, it can rapidly become your favourite desktop feature, allowing you to work far more efficiently and cleanly.
Image credit: KDE
5. GNOME 3's progress
When the latest GNOME hit the desktop, it was not only filled with bugs, but it was a hardly usable replacement for what was probably the most efficient and stable desktop available. Yet GNOME 3 has come on so far in such a short time. In less than a year, it has become incredibly reliable and efficient. Few pieces of software can claim such an improvement over such a short period.
Image credit: GNOME
6. Desktop-centric distributions
After the change Ubuntu made with Unity, a number of distributions reacted by creating releases based on specific desktops. The likes of Bodhi Linux have gained wider popularity, thanks to Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity. Most of these desktops have been available for a while, but they only achieved their present success after Unity arrived. It has also boosted the popularity of such distributions as Xubuntu and Kubuntu — still Ubuntu Linux, but with a different flavour on the desktop.
Image credit: Bodhi Linux