The changes in the desktop area for the next version of Red Hat Linux involve three major pieces:
Develop a set of artwork in-house to use for the desktops as well as for other pieces of the distribution.
This set of artwork, the Bluecurve look, includes, among other things, desktop backgrounds, widget themes, window border themes, and icons.
We've configured the default settings and application shortcuts for both desktops in a similar fashion.
In a few places where we feel that there are significant advantages to sharing underlying technology between the desktops, we have made code modifications to use this technology.
An examples of this is modifying both desktops to use Xft2 and fontconfig for font rendering.