KDE 4.10 delivers key updates across the board

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Hard on the heels of news earlier this week that KDE has been named the best desktop environment in a recent Linux user survey, the team behind the popular project on Wednesday launched a fresh new version of the software.

Six months following the release of KDE 4.9 last August, the new KDE Software Compilation 4.10 now officially takes that version's place as the latest release.

“The KDE Community is proud to announce the 4.10 releases of KDE Plasma Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform,” wrote developer Devaja Shah in the official announcement. “This release combines the latest technologies along with many improvements to bring users the premier collection of Free Software for home and professional use.”

There are virtually innumerable tweaks and improvements made in this new software, but a few select examples in each component stand out as being particularly notable.

1. KDE Plasma Workspaces

Among the many changes brought by KDE 4.10 is that the QML-based Qt Quick framework has been now deployed in many Plasma Workspace components. Improved consistency, layout behavior, stability, ease of use, and performance are all among the results of that change, the KDE team says.

A new QML-based screen locker, meanwhile, makes Workspaces more secure.

KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.10 also brings a new print manager and color management support, while a new Air theme aims to reduce visual clutter. Support for mobile devices has been improved as well.

2. KDE Applications

Both usability and performance improvements will be noticeable in KDE's many bundled applications, particularly in Kate, Konsole, Kopete, and KDE PIM, all of which have been substantially modified.

The KTouch typing tutor, meanwhile, has undergone a “transformation,” the project team says, allowing it to offer a better learning experience.

3. KDE Development Platform

Last but not least, the expanded use of Qt Quick in KDE 4.10 delivers substantial benefits for developers by opening up more APIs to that framework, making it easier to extend and customize Plasma Workspaces, for example.

I was interested to see KDE trending on Google+ earlier today, suggesting that there's been considerable interest in this new release. Ready to give it a try? Check out the KDE 4.10.0 Info Page for instructions on how to do it.

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