"To the 'core' of Ubuntu, they tie things, packages. They are getting rid of (for now) Gnome and replacing it with Unity (except for Edubuntu) Ubuntu Is now Gnome. (Kubuntu is Ubuntu built around KDE) Gnome, Unity and KDE are 'desktop' environments."
They are not getting rid of GNOME, they are getting rid of gnome-panel+metacity, which GNOME itself is getting rid of too. GNOME's replacement is gnome-shell, Ubuntu's replacement is Unity. Unity and gnome-shell are both graphical shells FOR the GNOME desktop and not complete desktop environments; if you removed GNOME from Ubuntu, you would not have a functioning desktop environment.
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