Both Gnome Shell and Unity want to maximize the working area by reducing the homepage clutter (no pun intended) by:
- removing desktop launchers, replacing them with a launcher overlay
- supporting maximized applications better, through default maximized modes, removal of minimize button and global menus
- separating the task management from the desktop by delegating it to the dock/launcher
- being minimalistic on the desktop
I think they ought to do one more thing to really achieve their aim – become tiling window managers. They do support tiling windows, but not the automatic management of window layouts like the organic tiling window managers. This will make it easy for users to manage different windows in different layouts, handle not minimizing windows much better and make it easy to maximize or rearrange the windows depending on what the applications are. And this will work great on large as well as small screens.
What do you think?