You're right: desktops will become workstations (if they're not that already). They will continue to be very powerful devices suited for very particular work, that either requries a lot of computational power or is ergonomically sutied for a desk-and-chair.
Until quite recently, desktops were multipurpose devices: they did all that but also browsed the web, did word processing, and other lighter tasks. They'll still be able to do that, for sure, it's just that unless people need the workstation stuff, there are simply better devices than desktops.
The desktop isn't dying, it's just narrowing its mission.
I agree with your idea, but you got it a bit wrong: Xubuntu it still Ubuntu. I think many people hate Unity (I don't; I just treat it as an "early beta" of an idea that one day might work), but don't realize that things like Xubuntu and Kubuntu are very much still Ubuntu.
The desktop interface is a *very tiny* part of the OS, really. But it's the first thing most users see, and is crucial for PR.
I love Xubuntu. Hence, I also love Ubuntu (if not the Unity package) and the great work done by everyone involved.
Ubuntu should follow the openSUSE way: when you install it, it asks you which desktop you want. There's no realy need for separate distros, IMO.
openSUSE's brilliance is that it allows to choose the desktop you want during installation. This is vastly preferable to Ubuntu's requirement of downloading different flavors (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, GNOME Remix). I also imagine that it's easier for devs, because it involves less packaging and distribution work.
I'm sticking with Xubuntu myself, because I much prefer the Debian way of doing things. Still, it's heartwarming to see that some things *can* be done better.
You're plain wrong.
Gabe constantly says that his business model thrives on free competition, and that he doesn't believe that a walled garden would be good for Valve. And technically, too, Valve made open choices for SteamOS and Steam Machines, where they didn't have to.
Consider that Apple took a free OS as its base and have closed it: Valve makes it clear that it has no intention in restricting you from sideloading applications on SteamOS or installing whatever you want on your Steam Machine.
Valve might change in the future, but for now they are absolutely pushing an open platform.
I'll repeat my title: this is what the Surface RT should have been. I would be happy to trade in my netbook + Nexus 10 tablet for one of these. And the price is very right, especially as it includes basic MS Office capability.
The Windows 8 interface is perfectly fine for a tablet. Worse in some ways than Android, better than others. The real advantage over Android is that you have a full web browser, none of those dumbed-down mobile versions that can't handle standard web sites. If you're really wedded to the Android app-world it's probably not so good for you, but remember that there's so much free Windows software that would do the job just fine. Android has been wanting full VLC and smoothly working Flash for years...
And as a netbook, it's the real deal. You can install *any* Windows software on it, unlike the Surface RT. And Bay Trail makes it that much more capable that the netbooks of old, that cost about the same, couldn't turn into tablets, etc.
People complaining about this being "slashvertisement" need to chill. This is news for nerds: a new category of consumer device that could really shake things up.
It's all discussed in the FAQ.
Summary: Java always supported multiple inheritance via interfaces, but it never supported multiple inheritance of state, and this situation continues with the current default methods feature. This is simply a new aspect of multiple inheritence in Java. This new feature does, however, does present the "diamond problem" for the first time in Java, but this is solved by simply disallowing ambiguous situations at the compiler level. Seems perfectly fine to me.
Writing (and maintaining) good documentation can easily take as much time as writing and testing the code, if not longer. But it's worth doing. Please, please document. Many more people will flock to your product, in turn giving you more influence and fame. It's worth it!
You lack imagination!
Think of a cheap, tiny MP3 player that can store lots and lots of music. Sure, it's not quite as robust as an SSD device, but many people treat MP3s as disposable, anyway.
This is a great development and will enable a nice niche class of devices.
Uhm, but Android truly is Linux. For many kinds of development work targetting Android, that fact is very important.
It matters very much that Android and, say, Ubuntu, have the same Linux kernel. It allows for an amazing span of shared effort. And of course it matters very much that Android and Ubuntu are very different OSes.
So, yes, RMS is exactly right.
I'll furthermore add that Debian, and OS that many people like you would like to simply call "Linux", is also available in a totally entirely absolutely non-Linux version called Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.
Names are important and the situation has not taken care of itself.