The thought of this desktop Linux burst is due to no major revisions of KDE or GNOME since 2002. It also points out the lack of future for either desktop environment with GNOME 3.0 not coming out till at least 2009 and KDE4 being far behind schedule.
Personally I don't think that means the Linux desktop bubble has burst... GNOME has had some excellent releases with GNOME 2.14/2.16 though not as nice as a complete overhaul. With Compiz / Beryl it is only powering the Linux desktop movement. Plus, when is the last time Windows had a major overhaul?
Sigh...I really dislike how Thom imposes his negative views on people, to put it nicely. Seriously, GNU/Linux is in a far better state than his stupid article implies. He should've compared things to how they were back in 2000 and now, and he'd see there's a *HUGE* difference, for the better.
Maybe there hasn't been a lot of movement in either of the big desktop camps since they are both very usable right now and they have just been fixing bugs and refining code. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The early days of both of these were about adding major features that were missing and fixing serious bugs. Not much of either is left to do now.
The article is pure FUD. Thom has been taking a lot of flack from the osnews readers for a while now and it seems every time he does something like this, he follows it a few days later with some sort of retraction or further explanation to justify his position.
It hasn't burst yet, it's just starting to grow really.
KDE I don't like, so I don't care when it comes out
I'm an XFCE user myself, comeing from enlightenment 16 and used fluxbox before that. Have used Gnome a few times too though.
All I can say, i'm really looking into 'desktop linux' features, since I have both my sister (for 2 years now) and since X-mas my mother on linux. So the usability thing I defiantly have to watch out for.
I can only say we have come a long way, and there's some minor things that need polishing. The biggest problems I personally encounter are closed source things related (video drivers etc, reversed drivers because there's no specs etc etc).
If it weren't for those damned games, and those silly windows only apps, it be fine. The desktop itself is ready, and it better start conquering the desktop soon.
Hopefully with governments left and right changing over to OSS software, and OSS workplaces, it'll get easier/faster/better!