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Linux for a new user: Gnome or KDE?

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So now that I have decided I’ll install Arch on Jen’s laptop, what DE should I install with it? I know I said I wanted to use KDE 4.2.1 (and I still do), but I’ve been thinking. Unfortunately. There’s a lot to be said for both of them.

Why KDE?

One of the main selling points of the KDE4 release is, undoubtedly, looks. Microsoft and Apple are really sexy-fying their OS, and KDE4 now looks just as good. Just look at these screenshots.

This is how the latest build of Windows 7 looks out of the box:

Now, you may argue about the quality of the OS, or non-free software, and I’d agree, but damn if that doesn’t look great.

Let’s have a look at the latest OS X (Leopard):

That’s polished, shiny, and professional. I don’t think Macs offer enough value for money, but Apple knows what’s beautiful and what’s not.

So how does KDE 4.2.1 measure up?

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