While I don't know any statistics to gauge how many users are "left in the dust" with GNOME3, according to GNOME3 https://live.gnome.org/GNOME3Mythstdockery97 wrote:For this reason I feel it is somewhat irresponsible for the Gnome development team to decide that only those with "gaming" hardware should be able to use one of the most popular Linux desktops.
It is our primary focus to build a modern operating environment, platform, and user experience. It doesn't make sense to target the hardware of the past. GNOME Shell uses relatively primitive 3D capabilities that have been available from essentially all computing devices made in the last 4 or 5 years. This includes most desktop and laptop computers, mobile devices, phones, tablets, and netbooks. Where there are exceptions, largely, there are bugs we can and should fix.
As such, I feel the assertion that one needs "gaming" hardware in order to properly run GNOME3 is an unfair statement. Furthermore, a case could be made that typical users using outdated hardware should probably consider other lighter desktop environments beyond gnome, even in it's previous release.
This could be accurate, again hard to say for certain - but the GNOME3 team is allegedly committed in the sense that,tdockery97 wrote:...one of the biggest obstacles to Gnome 3 is the fact that it just will not perform correctly on a large number of computers in use.
"The GNOME project and its partners are working hard to ensure that the complete GNOME 3 experience is available to as many people as possible, and aim to ensure that users who are initially unable to have this experience will be able to in the future."
But yes, it is inevitable that some users will be left behind - this is the cost of introducing new, more hardware intensive software.
If the switch to GNOME3 meant that a significant amount of current Linux Mint main edition users could no longer use continue using Linux Mint, then yes - I agree this would be a problem and an alternative desktop environment would need to be considered.