Stands for "K Desktop Environment." KDE is a contemporary desktop environment for Unix systems. It is a Free Software project developed by hundreds of software programmers across the world. Both the KDE source code and the software itself are made freely available to the public.
KDE's primary benefit is the modern graphical user interface GUI it provides for Unix workstations. While Unix systems are notoriously difficult for novice users to operate, KDE makes it possible for the average user to work on a Unix system. In addition to the modern interface, KDE also includes several user-friendly features, such as an application help system and standardized menus and toolbars. It also supports the ability to customize the interface with various skins or themes.
Another important aspect of the K Desktop Environment is its application development framework, which is what software engineers use to develop programs for KDE. Since a desktop environment is only as useful as the applications available for it, it is important that developing software for the environment is not a tedious process. Therefore, the KDE application development framework has been designed to help programmers develop robust applications in a simple and efficient manner. This led to the development of KOffice and hundreds of high-quality programs for KDE.