Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
While surfing around on Teh Intarwebs, I've read complaints from people that we're doing something radically new to the user. Some of those users seem to have problems with all that "radically new" stuff. Honestly, I don't think they have seen anything we *can* do yet. With KDE 4.1, we have pretty much implemented functionality that was there, made applications smarter, and polished the looks. Almost all of the work on the UI, especially in Plasma has been put into recreating functionality from KDE 3.5. What is so radically new to it?
Having a shallow look, both -- KDE3 and KDE 4.1 have quite a similar interface. Panel with tasks in it, an application starter menu, a simple clock with a calendar, a virtual desktop switcher and the systray. Just about everything is in the same place where people using KDE 3 used to find it. And in 4.1, you'll have icon groups on your desktop that work just like kdesktop's filemanager, only a bit more flexible. Overall nice improvements, but certainly nothing radically new as a whole. That's probably as far as it can get with re-creating the traditional desktop. Nobody wants to create an exact copy of KDE 3 at this point anyway. If we would have wanted that, we wouldn't have started this journey that is KDE4.
Yet nobody wants to take away the traditional desktop from the users. That's why KDE 4.1 looks like it is.