Linus Torvalds, the man behind the open source Unix-like Linux operating system kernel, has signed off the release candidate version as Linux 3.0 RC1. With most operating systems, a new version number would signal significant changes, but in this case Torvalds says: "So what are the big changes? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing." There are "no ABI changes, no API changes, no magical new features -- just steady plodding progress."
The increment has more to do with the fact that Linux is close to entering its third decade, the original having been released on August 26, 1991. In a post at LKLM.ORG, Torvalds writes:
"Yay! Let the bikeshed painting discussions about version numbering begin (or at least re-start).I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longer comfortably count as high as 40. The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let's face it -what's the point of being in charge if you can't pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I'm just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You'll like it."
Torvalds adds that "in general this is supposed to be a fairly normal release cycle. … There's absolutely no reason to aim for the traditional '.0' problems that so many projects have."
But as Conceivable Tech has pointed out: "There are several new feature sin Linux 3.0, including a Microsoft Kinect Linux driver, support for cleancache, updated graphics drivers, optimizations for Intel platforms (Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge) as well AMD’s Fusion APUs."
However, it's an excellent strategic move in getting companies to move to a consistent platform that users can easily identify. At the moment, suppliers can trumpet their support for Linux 2.6 while still being several years behind the current version.