Much has been said, both negative and positive, about KDE 4 since it’s introduction almost 2 years ago now. Yes it was a rocky start but that was to be expected on a project this large. But the developers kept their cool and stuck to their vision. It’s interesting to still see some negative comments even though in its current 4.2.1 incarnation, it is an extremely stable, beautiful and usable desktop. Most of the KDE 3.5 functionality is now available and it also provides a decent environment for users migrating from other operating systems.
It certainly doesn’t look ( or work for that matter ) anything like Vista/Win 7 so I’m not sure where people commenting about this get their information from. The desktop metaphor is completely different and you don’t need the latest and greatest graphics card to get some decent effects out of the system. The plasma-based plasmoids ecosystem is growing well and provides a lot of functionality in the desktop itself such as music control, notes taking, rss feeds, weather, irc, comics, Konsole profiles, etc. Yes some of this may be a bit frivolous, but there are some very useful productivity-related features.
For those new to KDE 4 and others who have not seen the latest incarnation, here are some screenshots. And someone in the KDE team decided to do a few ads – you know the type that Microsoft do? Here goes …
If you’re either a non-KDE user and haven’t had a chance to use a Linux-based distribution, or a Linux user who has not used the latest KDE 4, try out one of the LiveCD options which allows you to use the system without installing it on your machine: