Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Beta 1 (Trusty Tahr) has been released by its developers, and comes with a long list of improvements, much more than what has been made available with the previous Alpha versions.
Kubuntu14.04 LTS Beta 1 (Trusty Tahr) is based on KDE Plasma 4.12.2 and brings the entire system a little more up to date. The Alpha release had KDE Plasma 4.11 and KDE SC 4.12 RC, which obviously was not going to be the final choice.
KDE 4.12.2 was made available only a few weeks ago and it incorporates a number of very important bugfixes. Also, the KDE PIM stack has received massive improvements, which translates into better performance and a lot of new features.
For example, KMail, the default email client, now features AdBlock support (when HTML is enabled) and the spam detection works much better. A new Akonadi Agent named FolderArchiveAgent now permits users to archive emails in specific folders, and the GUI of the Send Later functionality has been cleaned up.
As it was to be expected, Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Beta 1 also updated the default Internet browser, bringing the latest Mozilla Firefox 27 into the distribution. As always, Kubuntu and KDE users will also have access to Konqueror if they don’t like how Firefox looks and feels.
Even if it’s based on Ubuntu, Kubuntu doesn’t use the default Software Center. Instead, the developers have integrated Muon 2.2 Alpha 1, which has been described “the first step towards a new version of Kubuntu's software store”.
Installing drivers is now also a lot easier with the implementation of a new Drive Manager that is a lot friendlier, and that also provides proprietary drivers.
Other major changes and improvements include a new way of installing plugins in Gwenview, new touchpad configuration tools, KDE Instant Messaging 0.8 beta1 (meta contact support for grouping the same contact across different IM networks), better localization support, a new Plasma Network Manager with a new interface, a better USB creator, KDE Connect 0.5, and even improved system notifications.
Remember that this is a development version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.
The final version of Kubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) is expected to arrive on April 17 and it will feature five years of support.