It's been a rough year for Linux on the desktop. More specifically, it's been a rough year for GNOME-based Linux on the desktop. But a glimmer of hope may have appeared thanks to a Mint-flavoured distribution of the open-source operating system.
KDE, XFCE and other desktop interfaces soldiered on in 2012 in their stolid ways, while GNOME 3, Gnome Shell and Ubuntu's GNOME-derived Unity desktop largely succeeded in turning the Linux world upside down, though perhaps not in the way they intended.
This year marks the first time many GNOME users were forced to face up to the unpleasant realisation that the community does not directly control the direction of development. The GNOME team is in charge as is Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu.