When I first heard about the project of porting KDE on windows I was very skeptical of the reason behind it but not so much of the viability of such a project since Trolltech decided to release the Qt 4 license under GPL for the windows version. KDE on windows is an audacious project aimed at porting all KDE applications on MS Windows natively. KDE also has a similar project for Mac OSX.
How it works
I have previously argued that wubi installer is the best thing since LiveCD, because of how stupendously easy it makes installing Linux for first time users without the hassle of disk partitions and risks of losing data. But KDE on windows goes a step further by installing a complete desktop environment on top of windows. Don’t get me wrong, this is by no means “using linux”, for lack of better words think of it as an open source “windows skin” (Desktop Environment) on top of proprietary MS Windows operating system, but unlike traditional “Desktop Skins” it goes several steps further by actually porting native KDE applications on windows.
Installation is as simple as downloading KDE for windows installer, which walks you through the installation process; which including: types of installation, choosing packages to download and mirror to download it from. Unless of course you are installing from local drive.
You don’t actually have to use Plasma in order for you to use KDE application, all the KDE applications are listed under Start > Program Files > KDE 4.2.00 Release. To Use Plasma you have to inconveniently run the executable file from C > Program Files > KDE > bin > plasma.exe. KDE for windows is far from being a stable finished product, even though it doesn’t explicitly mention, I would rate it as an alpha and I had some stability issues while running it (mostly for plasma).
But how does it help Linux?
It doesn’t. At least not directly. Believe it or not but every open source project out there doesn’t exist for the sole purpose of smashing proprietary or MS Windows products. Even though I am not a big fan of KDE (I use Gnome mostly), KDE for windows showcases the awesome power of open source applications to potential users who would otherwise never think of using Linux powered desktop environment. This projects also helps by putting continuous pressure on MS Windows to improve/innovate its own operating system. You might disagree with me, but windows 7 has come a long way from the traditional software development we have come to expect from MS and I believe this is largely due to continuous pressure from innovative and vastly superior alternative open source applications out there. I think with proper development and promotion “KDE for Windows” project has a lot of potential in the future.
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