The Debian Installer team has just announced that the first Alpha build of the Debian 8 "Jessie" version is now available for download and testing.
The Debian developers are taking their time with each new version of Debian and they are known for releasing very stable builds. This can only be done if all the kinks have been ironed out well before any release.
Debian has two branches that are constantly being worked on, the stable and the development one. Debian stable is now called "Wheezy" and was released on May 4, 2013, and the Debian development version is called "Jessie."
The stable version of Debian "Wheezy" has already received a number of updates so far and there is no sign of slowing down. The "Jessie" branch has been underway for some time, but this is the first major, official release. Keep in mind that this is the installation version and not the Live CD. This means that you will have to install it in order to test and use it.
The installer itself for Debian 8 "Jessie" has received a number of improvements, a hang due to interactive apt-cdrom problem has been fixed, and menu selection support of GRUB boot disk has been added.
The default desktop environment in the new Debian 8 "Jessie" is Xfce, but the decision to remain on this particular DE will be reevaluated in August 2014 and it could change by the time of the final release. Even so, the developers provide separate images for other desktop environments, such as KDE and GNOME.
A number of other changes have been implemented as well. For example, the ia64 architecture has been removed from the archive and the support has been stopped, the s390 architecture has been replaced with the s390x architecture, and the sparc architecture is being considered for support in the future.
Also, the Linux kernel has been updated from 3.2 to 3.13, the FreeBSD kernel has been updated from 9.0 to 9.2, the iop32x flavor has been dropped (armel), the armmp flavor has been implemented and covers x5 and vexpress (armhf), the cobalt flavor has been dropped, and the tape flavor has been dropped.
Remember that this is a development version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.