When it comes to Operating Systems one of the most important parts is the interface. If the GUI is not easy to use it destroys the entire experience. This is where Windows 7 is excelling over its shunned predecessor, Windows Vista. When it comes to operating systems, Windows does catch the most flak from critics but Linux is starting to receive some as well for one of its most mainstream interfaces, KDE.
I have been a fan of KDE for a long time, in fact pretty much since its original release. It was the first one that I used with Linux and I really enjoyed using it for a long time. Even with this newest release (KDE 4) I was at first happy with it but then something happened, I used Dolphin, KDE’s file manager. I tried quite a bit for the several months to ignore Dolphin and other little quirks with KDE 4 but the more I used it the more I found other things that just grated on me. It even caused me to admit Windows 7 was far superior and to switch to it full time on my primary machine.
In the process of trying to see if it was just me that was having difficulties with it I installed it onto my wifes computer. This was when I knew that there were usability issues with it. She demanded I remove KDE and install anything else except it. She said that she could not explain why she disliked it but that it was just a horrible experience.
Part of me still loves KDE but it does clearly have some issues. So why did I just now decided to write about it? I was reading today over at Toolbox a post by Locutus “Goodbye KDE. Its been nice knowing you”. Granted he is a much heavier user of Linux and KDE than I am, but his experiences are almost identical to my own with KDE. His article expresses his dissatisfaction with KDE 4 and his desire, but inability, to return to KDE 3. In the long run he found himself switching to LXDE and Gnome, abandoning KDE all together. Then continuing to read the comments I saw that every singly commenter had the exact same problem, KDE let us down.
When the Windows 7 GUI was first introduced in the Betas it was blasted by many KDE fans stating that it was a blatant rip off of KDE. After a closer examination it is easy to see that there are few similarities between the two interfaces. IF in fact the Windows 7 interface is taken from KDE 4 then why are people raving about Windows 7 and NOT KDE?
I hope that the KDE team can get back on track and give their fans and users what they want. Competition is good and it would be a terrible thing to see them go away just because they made a few poor mistakes.