Ubuntu Unity Adds 2D Support

Yesterday evening I downloaded the latest Ubuntu Natty daily build, and booted the Live image on one of my netbooks. I was surprised to see a 2D rendering of the Unity desktop, rather than the usual scolding about "underpowered graphics" and getting dropped back to a normal Gnome desktop.

Yesterday evening I downloaded the latest Ubuntu Natty daily build, and booted the Live image on one of my netbooks. I was surprised to see a 2D rendering of the Unity desktop, rather than the usual scolding about "underpowered graphics" and getting dropped back to a normal Gnome desktop. I poked around on the web a bit to see what the story was, and it seems that Ubuntu realized that they can't simply write off all the systems that don't have adequate GL support - or at least they realized that they would also be writing off a lot of flashy new ARM-based systems. Since these might make up a large portion of the market Canonical might be aiming for in the future, just giving them an insulting comment about their "poor graphics support" might not be an ideal situation.

Honestly, I'm not surprised by this. We've been down this road once before, with the original Ubuntu Netbook Remix requiring advanced graphic support, and in subsequent releases it was adapted to work quite adequately without the fancy graphic bells and whistles. If there is anything surprising about it, it is that Canonical/Ubuntu didn't learn the lesson the first time. If you are going to start dictating hardware requirements to your users, and demanding that they have nothing but the absolute latest, greatest and most powerful systems, then you might want to consider changing your name to "Microsoft".

jw

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