GNOME is a bunch of different programs which can form a complete desktop system. Each of them can be used separately.
Three major versions of GNOME are released so far.
- GNOME 1, which was perfect and let you choose between 5 different clock applications for your taskbar
- GNOME 2, which had many of the popular features found in GNOME 1 removed "to make it more userfriendly". It was still a nice desktop and it was the default desktop on many GNU/Linux distributions for a long, long time.
- GNOME 3, the "desktop" designed for mobile phones with touchscreens without giving a second thought to the fact that PC desktop users are GNOMEs principal userbase.