So here we are. Windows 7 launched and it isn't like the whole world changed. We knew it wouldn't. Snow Leopard launched with much less fan fare, but it brought some changes that someone needed to make. A fully 64bit OS that focuses on multi-core technologies as well the disposal of the Power libraries that permeated the Darwin landscape. Windows and Macintosh will be battling this out for many years to come. What changed with Linux?
With the latest release of Ubuntu we saw some major changes. Things have become more tightly integrated, flashier and heavier. Is this the direction we want? Google Chromium has shown us a Linux system that is only a web browser. The newest Fedora and SuSE systems are very similar to the Ubuntu systems. People are trying to compete with both Macintosh and Windows, and while this is good in gaining market share, many of us are getting frustrated with the increasing lack of customizability.
What was Linux? Just another UNIX clone. What was UNIX? UNIX was an operating system that was built of a kernel and tools. Each tool was a small program that did one thing, only one thing, and did that singular task extremely well. There were then interface programs that would use the plethora of available tools to create complex applications. This idea died. With various groups all trying to create the best UNIX-clone the idea of UNIX fell off the face of the Earth. X11, GNOME, XFCE, KDE, GNU in general (think emacs or GCC), and many other groups got rid of this idea. Whether this was a good move or bad move is mostly a matter of opinion. Clearly, however, we are not going UNIX. We are now headed the same direction Macintosh and Windows are. A single program to rule them all. The extreme of this being Google Chromium OS.