My experience recently reflects a slightly different view of desktop change. I had occasion to reinstall 8.04 and then installed kubuntu desktop and I experienced the change as well and for a fact I am KDE3 and for the immediate future will stay that way.
Now I assume the change you all are speaking of occurs post boot to the kubuntu blue rather then the ubuntu orange and options occuring to the right of the blue screen vs. to the left on the old orange.
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