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I view your sentiment as a little shortsighted. On a typical desktop you end up with over a hundred of applications installed and you end up using only 10 apps daily. A typical Windows Start menu gets extremely cluttered and extremely hard to search for the app you want. That's why keyboard-enabled search works much better.

OS X does the same thing. It has a launcher on which you pin the most used apps and for everything else you need to search it with Spotlight, or go to the Applications directory in Finder. I haven't seen many people complain about the usability of OS X in this regard. IMHO, the Start menu is a broken abstraction.

As for the UI and that bullshit on being optimized for tables ... I actually like that Unity is so space efficient. For example, why in the world would I need a window top bar, if the window is maximized? Vertical space on 16:9 screens is precious, Unity optimizes for it and I find that to be awesome ... like, one of the reasons many people like Chrome's UI over Firefox is exactly because of this, yet Unity brings this design decision for all apps.

Yes, almost same opinion. I've got feeling about unity people are really trying to step forward linux desktop UI. Not just copy and paste then edit something.

- remove cascade style start menu. - quick search interface for application, files. - well organized keyboard shortcuts and inline shortcut help - make free vertical space as possible as - it's simple. users only need to understand windows key, left launcher.

Yes, It was buggy and slow at the first time. Maybe Canonical had pushed so much earlier. But it's now working well and really usable.

KDE 4 has all the benefits of Unity as well as the ability to be customized. For users that like a 'start' menu, you can have it, but you're right that keyboard launchers are just better most of the time. KDE has two built-in, and every other DE works with Synapse, which is much faster than Unity for keyboard-based launching.

The UI is optimized for tablets and phones, but not because of space efficiency. In fact, Unity is less space efficient, because it demands that the launcher be so huge (to afford touch-based interaction). In every DE I've ever used, I actually hide the top/bottom panel, but that's not possible in Unity (the top panel affords no customization whatsoever, AFAICT). So, in practice, Unity is consistently less space-efficient with my vertical space than every other DE, in addition to being less customizable.

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