Summary: Diversity of desktop environments is evidently on the rise, with corporate backers driving some of it
2013 was a fantastic year for GNU/Linux, not just in portable devices but also on desktops. SteamOS is an example of desktop GNU/Linux becoming a gaming powerhouse, breaking down a long-lasting barrier to adoption.
When it comes to desktop environments, there have been some “distinct developments”  and (re)introduction of more diversity, such as MDM . Towards the end of this year we also get acquainted again with Enlightenment [3-5], a truly beautiful desktop environment that has been getting some corporate backing in recent years. Finally, there’s also LXLE , which shows that innovation and exploration of new routes should not be considered a thing of the past. A lot of companies build proprietary systems on top of GNU/Linux now (especially but not only in portable devices), adding to the diversity in a less transparent way.
2014 will almost definitely be another big step forward for desktop GNU/Linux. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
The year 2013 had its own distinct developments, but most of what happened in the last twelve months were continuations of events that were already happening. It was a year of continued development, of trends reaching natural conclusions, rather than of new ones beginning.
Whether you are looking at crowdfunding, games, the continued efforts of Ubuntu or GNOME, women in computing, or the new innovations at open hardware, the impression of 2013 remains the same. You could almost call it 2012, Part 2, except that many of the continuing stories began even earlier.
The MDM display manager was introduced for the release of Linux Mint 13. Though MDM was forked from GDM, the list of features is far more extensive. This display manager supports different greeters, each with their own stylish set of themes. I wanted to show off some of these awesome themes, so here they are for your enjoyment.
Terminology, the terminal emulator for the Enlightenment desktop built atop their EFL libraries, is up to version 0.4 and it’s landed heavy with new features.
Many major things have happened to EFL in the past year since EFL 1.7 first came out. The usual has been done in fixing bugs, optimizing speed and memory footprint, and much much more. These are just some hilights of what has been done since 1.7, so don’t take this as a complete list. Take a look at the NEWS files for more expansive information if you want that.