All across the web people are downing Ubuntu's new UI called Unity. They go as far as to say it's the worst thing ever, and other harsh words I'd rather not repeat. I Honestly think it's not bad at all, in fact I actually like it.
Got to keep in mind that Ubuntu isn't aimed at power users but at everyone, and it shows. In the application finder it shows what apps you use the most, ones that are installed, and suggests new one that are available to download in a couple clicks. I can see why old Ubuntu and Linux users are upset, the applications launcher used to be really organized and quick to get what I was looking for, but with Unity if you know the name off the application you're trying to launch it is super fast to press the window button, and start typing the name of program, then select it.
Ubuntu's developers put allot of thought into Unity. They must have considered that most people have widescreen monitors, and as such the best place to put the launcher bar is on the side, and I agree with it goes good right there. I get the most screen real estate with Unity from the launcher being on the side and auto hiding to the window management. The window management is like a OSx in the way the to option like File, Edit, Help are on the top title bar all the time.
A brief feature walkthrough of Unity
Any who, with Ubuntu's Unity, you either love it or hate it, although I'd say I like it, but not ready to commit to loving it quite yet.