KDE 4.9 Release Candidate 1 surfaces with many changes as outlined in the release announcement. However, in terms of anything new and exciting to talk about now, there isn't much with the API and feature freeze having passed.
- Qt Quick in Plasma Workspaces -- Qt Quick is continuing to make its way into the Plasma Workspaces; the Qt Quick Plasma Components, which were introduced with 4.8, mature further. Additional integration of various KDE APIs was added through new modules. More parts of Plasma Desktop have been ported to QML. While preserving their functionality, the Qt Quick replacements of common plasmoids are visually more attractive, easier to enhance and extend and behave better on touchscreens.
- The Dolphin file manager has improved its display and sorting and searching based on metadata. Files can now be renamed inline, giving a smoother user experience.
- Deeper integration of Activities for files, windows and other resources: Users can now more easily associate files and windows with an Activity, and enjoy a more properly organized workspace. Folderview can now show files related to an Activity, making it easier to organize files into meaningful contexts.
- Many performance improvements and bugfixes improve the overall user experience, making KDE Applications and Workspaces more productive and fun to use than ever before.