The K Desktop Environment is an intuitive, powerful and open source desktop environment for Linux/Unix platforms and now also for Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX. The KDE project has been developed for over 10 years by thousands of dedicated volunteers and is widely regarded as the most versatile, the most user-friendly and the most used desktop environment on Linux/Unix systems. The programmes of KDE support not only the home user, but business users and even educational users in addition. The 27 January 2009 release of KDE 4.2 is the latest update to the most used *NIX desktop environment in the world features:
- Plasma, KDE's new desktop, greatly enhances the user's desktop experience with extensive options for customisation through widgets, personalised desktop tools which provide an experience that ties together multimedia, network and local system data, as well as a variety of tools to help the user experience.
- The KDE project caters to business users as well. The personal information manager Kontact provides easy access to remotely hosted email using all major email protocols, as well as local and remotely shared calenders and address books. Kontact supports major open data formats, such as ical, and vcard files which allows easy collaboration with other personal information management services. These features provide a powerful experience to small business users who wish to manage their email communications and work flow. KDE's enterprise class web browswer, Konqueror, supports even the latest of web standards. This makes KDE an ideal platform for knowledge workers who need thin client access to remote web services such as Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol, IMAP and POP email, Secure HTTP and Microsoft file sharing services, all of which are supported in the latest release of KDE.
- KDE is an open platform based off of the work of thousands of volunteers who have developed it for over 10 years. Because KDE is an open platform 3rd parties can develop and extend the platform and its applications to suit their needs. This also allows vendors to have more control over the end product they ship to their customers and to provide the end product in a fully translated form in over 80 different languages from Albanian to Zulu.
- The KDE Education platform is a collection of open applications that can be extended by third parties. The platform also contains a range of applications that can work with with young children as well as university students.
- KDE is an open platform involving many volunteers from all over the world. This allows any user to integrate with the project or to participate at any level. KDE has volunteers that do everything from application development, to usability studies, to documentation and artwork.