The KDE Community announced that Plasma, the desktop for the KDE project, is now at version 5.2 and the developers have made a number of important changes and improvements.The KDE project now has a different face. The Plasma component is actually the desktop that greets the users and it's the most easily recognizable piece of software. Sure, some of the other KDE components might be more important and complex, but the vast majority will care about the improvements made to the desktop.
The one thing that you will definitely notice is the facelift, which will probably divide the community into users who like it and users who don't. The impact of the newly released Plasma desktop can't be quantified yet because there are very few distros that actually adopted it. KaOS is one of them and Arch Linux users have access to it from the repositories. Kubuntu, which is the most used operating system with this desktop, will get the next update in April.
KDE Plasma 5.2 is impressiveEven if it's possible that some of the users won't like the new direction, it's hard not to observe the hard work poured into the project and we're not talking only about the artwork and some of the more obvious changes. The fact is that you really need to run it and see for yourself, you can't really get the right impression from screenshots.
Some of the biggest improvements are the addition of new apps and functionalities, like SDDM, which is the new login manager, Muon to install and manage packages, a tool for multiple monitor support called KScreen, a new library, KDecoration, that makes it easier to build themes, and a new module lets you configure theming of applications from GNOME. And all of these are just scratching the surface.
The new KDE Plasma update will take a while to land in repositories, but Arch Linux and Kubuntu (the Plasma 5 edition) should be among the first to get the new desktop. You can also download the latest KDE Plasma 5.2.0 source packages from Softpedia or you can tryKubuntu 15.0 Alpha 2 as a Live CD, if you want to see what the fuss is all about.