The next release of the open source KDE desktop environment won’t overhaul its interface but more features and stability is the way as the first 4.7 beta is now available for download.
KDE consists of the the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, applications and development frameworks. The final 4.7 release is scheduled for July 27, 2011.
In a release announcement today, spokesperson for the KDE project Sebastian Kugler said there are four main areas of improvement – KWin, the window manager now supports OpenGL-ES 2.0; Dolphin, the file manager, has improved search and UI polish; the login menu now supports the Grub2 boot manager; and the Marble virtual globe supports offline address searches.
KWin will also get a new shadow decoration and support multi-head displays for 4.7.
With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team's focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing new and old functionality, according to the developers.
The new features in the 4.7 release are set to improve KDE’s support for mobile devices.
For a full list of features set to appear in the KDE 4.7 release, and those that won’t make it in, see the Feature Plan.
KDE has a six-monthly release schedule and 4.7 comes after 4.6 which was released in January.
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