KDE 4.1 is scheduled for release at the end of July 2008. This is a significant milestone for the KDE 4 series and for KDE in general, but as an early release in the KDE 4 cycle, it does have some known issues which will not be fixed in KDE 4.1. Huge progress has been made in KDE 4.1 which is listed in the KDE 4.1 Feature Plan.
Some of the more obvious issues are listed below. If these issues are important to you, you should stay with KDE 3.5 (KDE 3.5.10 is scheduled for release in August) or KDE 4.0 until KDE 4.2 when most of these issues are scheduled to be resolved.
It is possible that distributions will work around some of these issues before distributing to users. KDE 4.2 is currently scheduled for release in February 2009.
The desktop in KDE 4.1 will mark the start of some significant user interface changes. This is a step away from the way the KDE 3 desktop was designed, but everything possible on your KDE 3.5.9 desktop will also be possible on your KDE 4 desktop. For KDE 4.1, however, some features are not yet complete, but should be ready for KDE 4.2.
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FolderView is a new technology on the KDE 4 desktop which allows more than one collection of icons on your "desktop" and discourages using it as dumping ground for miscellaneous files. However, it can still be configured to behave just like KDE 3 did. See this blog entry by Lydia Pintscher for some more information on FolderView.
The following issues are known and are scheduled to be resolved in KDE 4.2 next February:
Some panel issues can be resolved before KDE 4.2. Because of the modular design of Plasma, a new panel could be quite easily written with autohide functionality. This would likely be written by a distribution team or a developer on kde-apps.org.
Some KDE 3 applications have not yet been ported to KDE 4. Most distributions still package KDE 3 versions of these applications with their KDE 4 desktop. Some notable applications which will not be included in KDE 4.1 are listed below: