KDE SC 4.4 Available on Windows
The KDE Project has announced the availability of packages for Microsoft Windows, bringing the KDE 4.4 applications to Windows.
New in this release, the packages have been broken out from the main KDE modules so it should be easier for users to simply install a single package if they choose. Not everything is available for Windows yet, for instance Amarok is not available for Windows at this time, but most KDE apps should be good to go on Windows with this release.
Why offer free software like the KDE applications on Windows? Users who become familiar with the KDE applications and grow to like them on Windows will presumably find it easier to move to an all-free desktop at some point. The more familiar Linux (or *BSD) is the first time a new user tries it, the more likely it is that they'll be happy in the new environment and successful migrating to the new OS.
Applications are a much lower hurdle for new users. Introducing KDE apps like digiKam and Konversation to users on Windows lets them keep a majority of their familiar environment, while still getting an introduction to the free software alternatives. Sort of the gateway applications to get users hooked on free and open source software, if you will.
Future releases of KDE SC on Windows will include "metapackages" so users can grab a selection of software like all KDE graphics apps or the developer tools in one go. Users can find more about the KDE on Windows apps on the KDE on Windows Project page, or just grab the downloader. Note that some applications may not be suitable for production use just yet.
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years covering IT. Formerly the openSUSE Community Manager for Novell, Brockmeier has written for Linux Magazine, Sys Admin, Linux Pro Magazine, IBM developerWorks, Linux.com, CIO.com, Linux Weekly News, ZDNet, and many other publications. Brockmeier is also a FLOSS advocate and participates in several projects, including GNOME as the PR team lead. You can reach Zonker at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on .