KDE Project launches new desktop

KDE 2.2 adds stability and speed to the open-source desktop software that did for Linux what Windows did for DOS

The KDE Project on Wednesday launched the latest version of its desktop product for GNU/Linux and other Unix variants, KDE 2.2. The software features several improvements, such as greater stability, faster boot time and faster application launching, the group said.

KDE is a collaboration by hundreds of independent software developers working to create a graphical user interface for Linux and other Unix operating systems to compare with the usability of commercial operating systems. KDE, like Linux, is based on an open-source development model, meaning that source code for the software is freely available for alteration, and any improvements that are made must themselves be redistributed to other developers.

Linux and its attendant software is seen as a viable alternative to Microsoft's operating system monopoly, with the open source licence giving companies the ability to customise Linux to suit their needs. However, while Linux is said to account for as much as a third of the server market, it has yet to make much headway on the desktop -- partly because of the lack of an easy-to-use user interface.

KDE said that improvements to the latest version include up to 50 percent faster application startup, increased capabilities and stability in HTML and JavaScript rendering, and a new personalisation wizard.

The group will follow up the release later this month with the release of KOffice 1.1, a suite of productivity applications.

KDE 2.2 is available from KDE's Web site at www.kde.org.

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