Since 2004 and for what seems like forever in the technology world, the Linux kernel version has been holding steady at version 2.6.x. The first two numbers were unchanged for nearly 7 years and became largely irrelevant. The third number is the actual version of the kernel. The fourth number accounts for bug and security fixes. But this is all about to change as Linus Torvalds announced the first Release Candidate of the 3.0 code in one of his recent emails.
What will be the shiny new feature in this monumental version? Torvalds announced that the big change was, “NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.”
"The point is that 3.0 is *just* about renumbering, we are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We've been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one ('20 years'*) instead,"
And he went on to say:
"But let's face it – what's the point of being in charge if you can't pick the bike shed colour without holding a referendum on it? So I'm just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You'll like it,"
The official release is due out in about six or seven weeks and will be released near the 20th anniversary of Linux.