Plasma Next Is Preparing to Replace KDE, First Beta Now Available for Download
Plasma Next has been built to eventually replace the current KDE Applications and Platform, which seems to have run its course. The project is still being maintained and new versions will still be released, but the new Plasma project is the future.
To make things more manageable for the developers, the project has been separated in a few smaller ones that in the end will come together in a single, bigger product. This is not only a change of name, but a true evolution of KDE.