KDE 4: the ultimate business desktop?

Open source desktop adds enterprise information management tools

"Internally, the KDE PIM code base needs some rewriting to continue to attract quality open source developers," Rodda said. "As Akonadi decouples the PIM data from the user interface, writing applications which access and integrate with your data will be much easier. So, in the long run we hope Akonadi will provide a solid base for KDE PIM software and help accelerate its development."

Rodda is also bullish about KDE 4's ability to attract more commercial ISVs to port applications to the environment, primarily because of the multi-platform capability that comes with using Qt 4.

"Additionally, we're making it easier to convert a Qt program into a KDE one, or even maintain parallel versions," he said. "Should the improvements result in increased market share for KDE 4 as we expect, KDE will become a more important desktop for ISVs to support."

Regarding desktop management, Rodda is not aware of any planned improvements, but said it is an important feature of KDE and is well maintained.

"We have Kiosk, a framework for desktop customization and access control which has matured over several years of use in the business world," he said. "Plus, with X, and especially NoMachine's NX, it is easy to set up dumb terminals and have all applications run on a powerful central server. Alternatively, with Klik, applications can be downloaded as a single file and run without being installed."

The KDE project is online at www.kde.org.

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