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ZD Innovation of the Year 1998/1999

Friday, 19 March 1999


(Hanover, Germany) The K Desktop Environment(KDE), an advanced and user-friendly desktop for the increasingly popular GNU/Linux - Unix operating system, was awarded top honors at CeBIT, the worlds largest computer trade fair, as "Innovation of the Year 1998/99" in the category "Software".

According to an article published by Ziff-Davis, sponsor of the award, the criterion for granting this award of technical excellence was not commerical success but creativity behind the product's design, an exceptional solution for a specific problem or a completely new concept. The other two finalists for the award were Lotus eSuite and Microtest Virtual CD.

KDE developers were very pleased by the announcement. In announcing the award to the KDE community, Kalle Dalheimer, a KDE developer, beamed, "This award is a great achievement for the whole KDE team! Congratulations to all of you!"

The availability of the high quality and mature desktop is considered a key software for enterprise and home use of GNU/Linux. Several large software vendors have announced support of KDE in recent weeks, including Red Hat Software, Inc. and Corel Corporation.


KDE released version 1.1 of its desktop on February 19, 1999. KDE runs on GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, HP-UX and other Unix variants. It is available in all major Linux and BSD distributions, and is also downloadable free of charge from KDE's web site.

KDE's major contributions to Unix are related to the ease of installation, configuration and use. KDE provides users with an attractive, functional desktop, applications that provide a consistent look-and-feel as well as internationalization. KDE offers also a consistent user interface across all Unix systems and numerous hardware platforms, from PCs to powerful Internet servers, thereby permitting organizations to freely switch hardware without incurring the costs associated with switching operating systems.

The KDE project was launched in October 1996 by a small group of developers. The project immediately adopted the open source model and grew quickly. Today, it is one of the largest open source development projects, with several hundred contributing developers, 1.2 million lines of source code, hundreds of translators who translate KDE into 32 different languages and thousands of interested users assisting in testing and debugging.