At OSCON last week, Mark Shuttleworth, of the Ubuntu fame, was quoted as saying "Can we not only emulate, but can we blow right past Apple?" Whilst this may seem to be a very tall order, it is not impossible to do.
Apple announces Mac OS X 10.6, code-named Snow Leopard, and mentioned that they will not add the usual 100 new features on every new OS release but improve on the reliability and reducing its foot-print for a more robust system.
With Snow Leopard, the next major version of the world's most advanced operating system, Mac OS X changes more than its spots, it changes focus. Taking a break from adding new features, Snow Leopard – scheduled to ship in about a year – builds on Leopard's enormous innovations by delivering a new generation of core software technologies that will streamline Mac OS X, enhance its performance, and set new standards for quality.
This is the chance for Linux to finally catch up with the user experience of Mac OS X. I say – it is now or never! In a year, desktop linux can improve and match Mac OS X and in another year, maybe surpass it. I am being optimistic here after seeing what KDE 4.1 can do. However, one thing needs to be done first – remove that uber-geek look-and-feel and get new users comfortable using it.