On May 11, the KDE community released the first alpha of KDE 4.0—aka "Knut"—which will boast a completely renovated desktop appearance. The appearance is based on the Oxygen theme. Oxygen, in turn, has been influenced by Apples Mac OS Xs Aqua desktop interface.
Underneath this layer, youll find TrollTechs latest Qt 4.3 GUI development environment. This revised C++ GUI framework includes better OpenGL support for 3D visualizations, support for SVG (scalable vector graphics) and other improvements. At a higher level, KDE 4 provides new application frameworks. Solid provides improved hardware integration, while Phonon will improve multimedia integration for both developers and end-users.
Under the hood, perhaps the biggest change will be in the IPC (interprocess communication), which is moving to D-Bus. This provides both a system daemon and a per-user-login-session daemon. Its designed to improve interoperability between Linux desktop applications. D-Bus has already been adopted by the Portland Project for its forthcoming DAPI (desktop application programming interface).