Comdex: KDE backers to form a league of their own

Compaq, Corel, IBM, and various Linux vendors are expected to unveil at Comdex/Fall a group aimed at furthering the penetration of the KDE Linux desktop

On Wednesday at Comdex Fall 2000, the backers of the KDE Linux desktop environment are expected to band together and form a corporate-backed group to push KDE as a viable alternative to Gnome.

The formation of the so-called KDE League is expected to provide K Desktop Environment (KDE) with the same kind of big-named backing that GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) garnered in August, when a slew of companies that united to create the Gnome Foundation were announced. Many of the same companies that lent their name to the Gnome cause are also expected to be on hand when the backers of KDE roll out their organization. Expected KDE League founders include Caldera, Compaq, Corel, IBM, SuSE, and TrollTech, according to sources.

These companies are expected to contribute to the KDE Project, the group of hackers who have built the KDE environment, various open source products and technologies.

IBM is expected to contribute to the KDE League an open source, Linux-compatible version of its ViaVoice, its voice-recognition software. IBM will work with Trolltech and Mandrake to deliver components of IBM's ViaVoice on KDE, company officials confirmed.

KDE and Gnome both are a collection of user-interface and desktop office technologies that are aimed at making Linux and Unix easier to use.

KDE, for its part, unveiled in October KDE 2.0, also known as Kopernicus. Kopernicus is comprised of the Konqueror Web browser and file manager, KOffice, an integrated office suite, KParts component object tools, and more than 100 applications for games, graphics, administration, and utilities.

Representatives with KDE declined to comment on the expected KDE League unveiling.

When more than a dozen companies announced the formation of the Gnome Foundation in August, they played up what they claimed would be the strength of a unified desktop front against Microsoft Windows and Office. At the time of the Gnome Foundation unveiling, KDE representatives said they didn't see a need for a similar corporate group to back KDE.

Among the backers of the Gnome Foundation are Borland, which has said it will provide its Kylix rapid-application-development tool to the foundation, CollabNet, Compaq, Eazel, Helix Code, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, VA Linux, TurboLinux and Mandrake.

See full coverage at ZDNet UK's Comdex Special.

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