This does not bode well for the future of Ubuntu if you are forced to use a netbook interface on a desktop machine, I would rather see Gnome stay, Gnome 3.0 is promising and looks to take Gnome in a new direction. And removing Synaptic and using the Ubuntu Software Center instead? Synaptic is the best GUI for installing software and it is easily searchable to find the application and miscellaneous software or library package you are desperately needing to get something working. It is not the time to change the interface and dumb it down with a different desktop with huge icons and stupid menus. Users are used to Gnome and do not want the default desktop changed again. And it should ship with more firmware drivers like Fedora does for better support of integrated WIFI on laptops, that would be a massive help.
Ubuntu is a very popular operating system and always featured on Linux websites and is the basis for such distributions as linux Mint, so why change the desktop to a stupid netbook interface by default? You can install the Ubuntu Netbook edition interface by using synaptic and installing a window manager that will be suitable for that type of usage without having it forced on you by default. I Liked the Gnome 3.0 interface changes and they would be o.k as long as you could revert to a traditional Gnome top & bottom panel interface like the Debian and Ubuntu distributions have always used.
But if the Ubuntu distribution goes down this path, and the users are fed up with it, then they could use Linux Mint or any other Debian based distribution that would allow them to use a traditional Linux desktop and customise it themselves without anyone putting the buttons on the left or changing the desktop. The Gnome desktop should stay as it is and the user can change the layout of the panels and download new icon themes and Metacity/GTK styles. There is even a Google Chrome Metacity theme. I am typing this in a Gedit text editor fullscreen with no distractions other than the Future Sound of London playing into my ears. “Shingles” is one awesome track. But getting back to the point, Windows has not changed the user interface for more than 10 years, you still have the taskbar at the bottom and icons on the desktop. Windows 2003 has the same Windows classic interface as Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0, retaining the security and stability of the NT family. Too bad Windows XP missed out on that. I was in the library one day about 4 days ago and there was a computer in the corner with a BSOD on the screen. I came back today and it was still on the BSOD, and that is strange, I do not think they really care. Windows XP is 10 years old, time to retire the old nag to the pasture and bring in a new sleek horse with a straighter back and a faster trot, not to mention a more reliable temperament. Most of the users in the library are just using Youtube and Facebook, basic Internet browsing that Ubuntu or Fedora Core could do easily.
I suppose that learning how to better manage the machines would help there.