At least, users can customize Gnome Shell as they wish.
Oliver prepares to kill of Ubuntu, UPs <some other distro>.
I use Ubuntu on my old T42 (2.1 GHz Pentium-m, 2gb ram). I really realy tried unity. It worked okay, but was very annoying to work with. I really mostly use it for e-mail, web browsing and occasionally some terminals. But the whole 'one app at a time' approach unity takes is just really horrible. For a tablet, yeah sure I can even understand it. But for my 'couch PC' it was just not cutting it. So after a few months I went with fallback mode.
I never like the compiz performance, maybe the hardware is to old, maybe the Radeon 9600 using the r300g driver is getting to stressed, it was never smooth so 'classic' (read metacity) mode it was. It was acceptable. I've upgarded to 12.04 when it came out (skipped 11.10 i belive) but it has been really slow ever since. Maybe my firefox is using up to much resources from having to many inactive tabs up (30 or so) or god knows what.
Now it's time to look for a new distro I guess. As said, on spiffy fast new hardware, sure it'll be fine. On a tablet? Absolutely. I would get that (maybe a slimmed down light version of ubuntu, ubuntu-light. Well gbuntu :p).
I still do think Mark/Ubuntu is trying to make Ubuntu significant, at any cost (think .Net/mono), but in trying to be so, they are more looking like Windows 8 for example. While I salute there intentions, I'm not sure if I'm fully in favor of their methods, and while I 'worship' RMS, I sometimes also think he may be too much on the opposite (but not by much ;).
Why do any of you care that they removed the requirement of metacity (gnome2 wm) from unity's installer?!? I doubt a single one of you can explain themselves without spouting crap.
None of you ever interact with metacity unless your installing and now its doing the correct behavior of using compiz for the installer. Thus making the installer and the complexity of unity's stack lighter, and simplier. One less WM to debug and worry about. Metacity is also still in the repo's. I can not find a single thing here to critize but you baboons.
Doesn't metacity work without hw acceleration? And compiz requires it? If this is true than Canonical is really insane. What was really that wrong with metacity that they need it removed? Can't we live without effects at least in the installer, which is a pretty sensitive thing and doesn't need crashes?
I don't agree with some of Canonical's decisions (I use Debian nowadays), but this isn't one of them. They obviously want compiz on the LiveCD and not taking up space with the metacity binary.
Ubuntu is becoming a modern mainstream distro, designed for mainstream systems. While i too feel many of canonicals decisions are, simply put, stupid, many of them are beginning to make sense. Ubuntu isn't about having the most compatible and resource friendly system, its about making linux a deskop PC. Ubuntu also doesn't intend to follow the linux philosophy entirely. Don't treat Ubuntu as a one-size-fits-all distro and it won't seem so stupid. Also, with Steam basically endorsing Ubuntu and vise versa, neither of them wants to be the blame for people getting glitches. The computers that won't run Ubuntu won't work well with steam either.
The only serious problem I see is Ubuntu is basically the linux standard and so these decisions of canonical, smart or stupid, or successful or failed, are going to give the wrong impression of what linux REALLY is.