Exactly. The days of the computer being purely an instrument of work, confined to a small 'office room' or similar are over. In my experience, one can find computers more and more in the living room, as equal to the TV or Stereo.
This became pretty obvious when the standard 'beige boxes' were gradually getting replaced by designer boxes, when fan noise levels became a critical factor, when laptop and TFT screens got cheaper and popular, etc. I like customizing the appearance of the RO desktop and wouldn't dream of having a desktop like Windows 9x - now that's appalling, not to mention uninviting to the casual user! There is a point to all this, which I believe is that the computer generally has matured beyond the work/tech-only beginnings and became a consumer product, including the 'nice-looking' aspect. Now, if the eye-candy is only getting in the way, there is indeed little point to having it beyond the 'glamour' factor. But when the eye-candy actually integrates with usability to present a more intuitive and helpful computer experience, I'm all for it. I think Apple has understood this reasonably well as demonstrated in certain Mac OS X effects, such as the user-switching cube or front row.
Although the RO look can still be made to look modern and appealing, we should not disregard the potential of certain 'special FX' to increase usability and make the system more accessible. RO certainly has done a great deal right in the first place, but there's also room for improvement. Thankfully most RO users seem to have opened up to other (alternative) OS's on a usability level, now the next step is to see what we can copy Microsoft-style...
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The new apple of my eye Would you swap your dusty Acorn for a polished Apple computer? Martin Hansen has been checking out the world of Steve Jobs and his range of shiny kit. 15 comments, latest by adh1003 on 6/1/09 1:06PM. Published: 17 Nov 2008