March 28, 2012

GNOME 3.4 Released: a Big Leap Forward

Groton, MA, March 28 2012: The GNOME project is happy to announce the release of GNOME 3.4, the second update to GNOME 3.0, originally released in April 2011. This new version of GNOME 3 combines six months of development effort, resulting in major new features, updated applications, and a raft of subtle refinements. GNOME 3 has taken a major leap forward with this new release.

Matthias Clasen, who oversaw the completion of the release, said: “The GNOME Release Team is proud to present this latest release of GNOME 3. The GNOME project has been delivering major improvements with every release since 3.0, and our emphasis on feature-driven development is yielding excellent results. The new version includes some significant new features, as well as many smaller enhancements. In all, 3.4 is a great leap forward for GNOME 3 and we hope that our users enjoy it.”

New features being introduced in GNOME 3.4 include a new documents search facility, smooth scrolling, new application menus, video calling, and Windows Live online account integration.

GNOME’s applications have received significant updates for this release. The GNOME web browser, which is now known as Web, has a beautiful new interface for 3.4, as well as significant performance improvements. Documents and Contacts, both of which integrate with online accounts, have also received updated interfaces and new features. These application enhancements are the result of a major development drive which is in the process of creating a new suite of modern and stylish GNOME 3 applications.

3.4 takes the quality of GNOME 3 to a new level, and includes a huge number of smaller changes and refinements. There are updated interface components, a much more polished visual theme, better hardware support, a multitude of bug fixes and many other minor improvements. This all adds up to a major step forward in the quality of the GNOME 3 user experience. A new GNOME initiative, called “Every Detail Matters” has been instrumental in accelerating this enhancement drive.

You can find out more about the changes that are included in GNOME 3.4 in the release notes, which were made available today.

GNOME 3.4 has been already been greeted with enthusiasm. Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE community manager said, “openSUSE congratulates the GNOME community on another milestone in the 3.0 series. It is great to see how the innovative vision underlying GNOME 3 is showing more and more with each release. GNOME forms an important part of the openSUSE distribution and we look forward to shipping this as part of our next release!”

GNOME was started in 1997 by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. GNOME’s software has been utilised in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments, and the project’s developer technologies are utilised in a large number of popular mobile devices.

The GNOME community is made up of hundreds of contributors from all over the world, many of whom are volunteers. This community is supported by the GNOME Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that provides financial, organizational and legal assistance. The Foundation is a democratic institution that is directed by its members, who are all active GNOME contributors. GNOME and its Foundation works to promote software freedom through the creation of innovative, accessible, and beautiful user experiences.

Official screenshot packs of the release are available to download.