More Netbooks, Windows 7, Obama

This week wasn’t marked by any breaking news items, but there were a few tends to be spotted. This may be have been a new week, but netbooks were still all the rage, with several items on our front page. We also had lots of news on Windows 7, and OSNews’ very first game review. An uneventful week, but some interesting discussion nonetheless. This week’s My Take is about the upcoming KDE 4.2 release.

Week in Review

I’m sure some of you are getting a bit fed up with all the netbook news by now, so I’ll get those out of the way first. Early in the week we had the Ubuntu Mobile team who stated that they may look beyond GNOME for their interface needs – more specifically, they might look at the upcoming LGPL release of Qt 4.5. You (you, as in, OSNews readers) greeted this news positively, although discussion arose over whether or not EFL may be a beter solution than Qt.

In the meantime, more information became available on Intel’s planned upgrade to its Atom platform, further raising the question whether or not the nerds’ darling of the chip world, Via, will ever make a serious dent in Atom’s popularity. To finish it off, at the end of the week, Acer took the wraps off the successor to the world’s most popular netbook, the Aspire One. Sadly, no pricing or operating system information was given out. And lest we forget, El Reg had a hands-on video of the Sony Vaio P.

Moving on to the next trend, this week – again – saw lots of news surrounding Windows 7, whose beta is so popular Microsoft keeps on extending the deadline. First, we reported on a limited but interesting benchmark regarding Windows 7’s performance on SSDs. Microsoft also gave us an insight into the Windows Experience Index, and Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth praised Windows 7, touting it as a “great product”. Despite the positive buzz around Windows 7, Microsoft had bad news as well: the company is going to cut 5000 jobs.

It was also inauguration week in the United States, with Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. The live webcast was broadcast across the internet using Silverlight, to the ire of many Linux users. To make sure everyone could watch the webcast, Moonlight and Microsoft developers worked hard, and in one afternoon came up with a working solution for Linux and Mac OS X PowerPC users.

OSNews also ran its very first game review this week, which may have raised some eyebrows here and there, but it will be a recurring topic on OSNews from now on – although in a limited fashion, and always clearly marked as being a game review, so the on-topic police (as David so fittingly put it) can easily skip the game reviews.

My Take: KDE 4.2

Coming Tuesday, January 27th, is the set release date for the next iteration in the KDE 4.x series, KDE 4.2. This will be the first release aimed at not just developers and enthusiasts, but “normal” users as well. Responses to the test releases have so far been very positive, and I personally was blown away by the increase in quality between KDE 4.1 and KDE 4.2 RC.

In preparation of our Tuesday KDE 4.2 coverage, I’ve installed the KDE 4.2 release candidate on my Kubuntu installation. My experiences with KDE 4.0 and 4.1 weren’t exactly pink ponies and rainbows, so I was a little sceptical at first. However, when I had everything up and running, I couldn’t help my jaw dropping on the floor. It’s absolutely amazing just how the overall user experience, quality, looks, and functionality have increased between KDE 4.1 and 4.2 – it’s almost like a new desktop environment.

Sure, it’s not perfect yet, and there’s still enough to complain about, but I couldn’t help sending an email to KDE’s Aaron Seigo, complimenting the KDE team on the impressive progress between the two releases.

We’ll have detailed release coverage on Tuesday, with a few first impressions of KDE 4.2, as well as a short interview with Aaron Seigo. In any case, I can advise you to take a look at KDE 4.2 RC right now – especially if you’ve been bitten by KDE 4.0, 4.2 is going to be the perfect moment to give KDE4 another chance.


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