Today a group of CIOs did a guided tour through the exhibition halls, and of course the icing cake was the KDE booth. There the main question was: how can KDE be interesting for such people, for companies.
And the answer was never easier than with KDE 4: through portability. The KDE 4 libs are amazing, and additionally the already existing apps on top of it are excellent programs. The key point for such people is however Kontact (which was also presented in a talk today which I unfortunately missed). Kontact provides an easy to manager group ware client compatible with a lot of different servers out there – and now it is also available on all three big platforms. This makes it possible for business people to have one central place for the configuration for all platforms while the client itself is fully integrated with the native platform look&feel.
And the most important thing is: this is not theory, it exists already. In fact, the booth of the BSI, the German Federal Office for Information Security, shows Kontact running natively on Windows and on Mac OS X. Here are three screenshots for comparison (thanks to the BSI for the Mac OS X and Windows screenshots):
Kontact on Linux.
Kontact on Mac OS X.
Kontact on Windows XP.
The versions displayed are based on the current in development KDE 4.1 libraries. But they are already working, and it is just a question of time until this becomes stable enough to use it in daily business life. This ports would not have been possible without the help of the BSI – which does support and promote Kontact and help with the development of security plugins – and also Kolab who do an amazing job in the world of group ware.
So, at the moment there is only one serious group ware client out there which runs on all three major platforms. And it does not only run there, it is natively integrated, users will immediately feel at home in them. The importance of these two facts can not be underestimated, and in the mid term more and more companies will consider Kontact – and therefore KDE – as a possible solution for their often mixed setups. And with Kontact other useful apps like Konqueror, Dolphin, Okular and others – which could again be configured at one single central point – are in reach as well.