I remember, It took a lot of effort to get from KDE 2.2 to 3.0, and I still hated 3.0, but from 3.1 till 3.5, I really think KDE was the best desktop environment available on any platform, period.
I don't have any research to back this up with, but my own anecdotal feelingis that KDE went from being the preferred choice of over 70% of Linux desktop users in 2004, to less than 30% now.
I still lament the fact that no community sprung around KDE 3.5 to fork it. It's starting to show its age today, but if it had been kept up to date, I reckon it would have a lot of followers, especially with so much dissatisfaction with Gnome Shell and Unity.
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