The Long Awaited KDE 4 is Finally Here

On 11th January 2008, the KDE Community released the fourth major version of the K Desktop Environment. This release marks the beginning of the KDE 4 era.

After five long months of development, the most expected project of 2007, KDE 4, has finally seen the light today! KDE 4 is the next generation of the popular K Desktop Environment, which seeks to fulfill the need for a powerful yet easy-to-use desktop, for both personal and enterprise computing. KDE project’s goal for the 4.0 release is to put the foundations in place for future innovations on the FREE desktop.

The KDE Community is thrilled to announce the immediate availability of KDE 4.0. This significant release marks both the end of the long and intensive development cycle leading up to KDE 4.0 and the beginning of the KDE 4 era.

The KDE 4 Desktop has gained some major new capabilities. The Plasma desktop shell offers a new desktop interface, including panel, menu and widgets on the desktop as well as a dashboard function. KWin, the KDE Window manager, now supports advanced graphical effects to ease interaction with your windows.

NEW with KDE 4:

  • Plasma, the brand new desktop shell and panel, is an amazing piece of technology that makes your KDE experience better than ever. Its role is to offer, to the end-users, an efficient and ergonomic access to their desktop.
  • The window manager of KDE 4, KWin, comes now with Solid (a sophisticated hardware API) and Phonon (a multimedia framework) and with some amazing desktop effects.
  • All known KDE applications, such as Konqueror, which is the default file manager and web browser, KGet, KColorPaint, Konsole, Kopete, SuperKaramba, are now greatly improved and I’ll bet you will not even recognize some of them
  • As an alternative file manager, Dolphin is included for those of you who have already been using it.
  • and tonnes of more new and cool features .

Lots of KDE Applications have seen improvements as well. Visual updates through vector-based artwork, changes in the underlying libraries, user interface enhancements, new features, even new applications — you name it, KDE 4.0 has it. Okular, the new document viewer and Dolphin, the new file manager are only two applications that leverage KDE 4.0’s new technologies.

The Oxygen Artwork team provides a breath of fresh air on the desktop. Nearly all the user-visible parts of the KDE desktop and applications have been given a facelift. Beauty and consistency are two of the basic concepts behind Oxygen.

KDE 4.0 Visual Guide:

The KDE 4.0 Desktop and applications deserve a closer look. The pages below provide an overview of KDE 4.0 and give some examples of its associated applications. Screenshots of many components are included. Be aware that this is just a small sample of what KDE 4.0 offers you.

The Desktop: Plasma, KRunner, KickOff and KWin
Applications: Dolphin, Okular, Gwenview, System Settings and Konsole
Educational Applications: Kalzium, Parley, Marble, Blinken, KStars and KTouch
Games: KGoldrunner, KFourInLine, LSkat, KJumpingCube, KSudoku and Konquest

Full Announcement

Related reviews and blog posts from around the net:

Being the real first release, be patient and don’t expect everything to work flawlessly. This build will still need some tweakings and bug fixing, once the Linux and other KDE DE users start reporting back to developers. KDE users who require mission-critical robustness and the full feature set of the KDE 3.5.x series should probably wait until KDE 4.1 before making the transition.

Yay, KDE 4 is here :)

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