The Linux platform is beginning to gain mainstream acceptance on
low-cost netbook devices. The growing popularity of netbooks presents a
major opportunity for the open source operating system, but it also
comes with some challenges. One of the most significant problems is
that much of the open source software that is available today for the
desktop is not designed to deliver an optimal user experience on small
Linux distributors and application developers are exploring
alternate user interface concepts that will work well at low
resolutions without compromising productivity. There is also a clear
need to boost usability as netbook devices are broadly intended for the
regular consumer market. The KDE desktop environment has recently
gained a new specialized netbook interface that leverages the strengths
of KDE's unique Plasma technology. Ars tested it on Kubuntu to see how
it compares to the conventional KDE desktop experience.
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