After nearly two years of work, the Xfce development team has released version 4.8.0 of Xfce. The open source desktop environment for UNIX and Linux platforms aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and adhering to standards.
According to the developers, Xfce 4.8 is their "attempt to update the Xfce code base to all the new desktop frameworks that were introduced in the past few years". The latest stable version supercedes the 4.6.x branch of Xfce and features several advancements, such as browsing remote shares using a variety of protocols (SFTP, SMB, FTP, etc.). Window clutter has also been reduced by merging all file progress dialogues into a single dialogue.
Improvements to settings dialogues include support for RandR 1.2 in the display configuration dialogue and updates to the manual settings editor. Other changes include the addition of an eject button for removable media, a new 'fuzzy' clock, a new directory menu plugin and improved keyboard layout selection.
A visual tour of the new major visual features in Xfce 4.8 is available on the project's web site – screenshots are also provided.
More details about the latest version of the Xfce desktop environment can be found in the official release announcement and in the change log. Many distributions support Xfce and users can install the updated version by downloading the latest packages. A list of Xfce based Linux distributions can be found on the Xfce distributions page.