The first alpha release of KDE 4.1 isn't planned until the end of April, but this past weekend the OpenSuSE team had updated their KDE Four Live spin against the latest KDE 4.0.66 snapshot packages. The KDE 4.0.66 development packages contain new Kickoff and Plasma features along with much other work to the numerous packages that will ultimately make up this first major update to KDE 4.
Among the action items completed (or in good progress) so far include QtScript support for Kross, Kickoff orientation dependent layout for Plasma, color blindness simulation for KMagnifier, a KDiamond game, text-to-speech improvements for Okular, the Phonon-based Dragon Player, various improvements to KGet, Kopete OTR encryption support, many KMail improvements, and improved event printing in KOrganizer. The improvements for KGet in KDE 4.1 include torrent support, transfer/group settings, and a web interface for remote management of KGet. KMail in KDE 4.1 will feature better natural language search criteria names, clickable status columns, drag and drop support for folders, favorites folder, and many other changes. New in KDE 4.1 is also Lokalize, which formerly was known as Kaider in KDE and is a computer-aided translation system.
Also on the table for KDE 4.1 is an OpenSolaris port -- that's in addition to the existing ports to Windows and Mac OS X of the KDE 4 frameworks and applications. While not yet completed, also planned is WebKit support within Plasma, new Phonon back-ends, and Apple Dashboard Widgets support for Plasma. The new Phonon back-ends in KDE 4.1 are for GStreamer, QuickTime, and DirectShow9. KDE 4.1 will also include general stability improvements and much polishing on all layers, compared to KDE 4.0.
All of the screenshots in this article are from the KDE Four Live 1.0.66 LiveCD. The latest release of KDE Four Live can be downloaded at KDE.org. For more information on the plans for KDE 4.1, check out their Feature Plan and Release Goals pages. After the KDE 4.1 Alpha 1 release on April 29, there are two beta and one RC releases planned. KDE 4.0 was released in January while the KDE 4.1.0 release is expected in July.