Canonical is hard at work and Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is coming along just fine. The developers have decided to adopt a new Linux kernel for their distro and everything seems to be on track for the October launch.
Ubuntu developers said a while ago that they were tracking Linux kernel 3.16 and their goal was to have that version ready for the Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) launch, which is scheduled for October, as usual.
The Linux kernel is one of the most important components in a distribution, and both developers and users are really interested in the version that will eventually be implemented. Newer builds of the kernel provide better compatibility with hardware, improved battery life, and numerous other features and smaller changes.
“We have rebased our Utopic kernel ‘unstable’ branch to v3.16-rc3 and uploaded to our ckt ppa (ppa:canonical-kernel-team/ppa). Please test. I don't anticipate an official v3.16 based upload to the archive until further testing and baking has taken place,” says Canonical's Joseph Salisbury.
Linus Torvalds seems to be on track with the Linux kernel 3.16 branch, and even if it proved to a little larger than usual, the latest update might not bring any changes to the release schedule. New kernels usually have eight to ten release candidates before getting to the stable stage, so there is plenty of time for Canonical to get the new release and implement it.
Ubuntu developers usually test any new versions of the kernel before deciding whether to go forward with them. Even if a new stable was released in the last few days before the kernel freeze, they would not have the time to properly implement it.
This is one of the main criticisms when it comes to Ubuntu. Once the devs adopt a certain branch of the kernel, they stick with it, unless it's an LTS release. There is a good reason for this policy, but users don't realize that there is a major difference between systems like Arch Linux and Ubuntu.
Users are not prevented from upgrading their kernel in Ubuntu, but if something goes wrong with the distribution, it's hard to find what happened if it's not a kernel that's been tested and adapted for the operating system.
If you want to test Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) right now, you can download the daily build from Softpedia. If has all the latest improvements, but it's still unstable and developers are constantly working on it.