The developers of WordPress, the popular open-source blogging platform, have just announced
the release of their latest stable version, WordPress 2.8, codenamed “Baker,” which is now available for download right here
This is an evolutionary release but it does bring a number of new features and updates. Visually there aren't too many changes, which actually may be welcomed by many as the dev team has been known to make big modifications especially to the admin panel between releases.
Many improvements are under the hood and WordPress is now faster than ever, with changes to the way it handles style and scripting. One of the first new features most users will notice is the updated theme management. Similar to the way WordPress handles plugins, which has proved a popular feature for most users, now you can install a new theme with just one click and browse the entire theme directory inside the WordPress dashboard.
For those who need to edit their themes or plugins with the new CodePress editor form inside the dashboard, which should prove very useful for small changes or tweaks, the new editor has syntax highlight and also links to documentation for the functions in the file they are editing. The widget interface got a big update bringing some much needed features like editing widgets on the fly, having more than one instance of the same widget, drag and drop between different sidebars and the possibility to save inactive widgets so they don't show up on your blog but you get to keep all your settings for the widget. The widget API has also gotten a major overhaul.
Of course, now that 2.8 is out the door, the developers are already planning and working on the next versions, 2.9 and 3.0, with a focus on better media support, adding versions to templates and themes and the merging of WordPress and MU, a spin-off of the main development branch.