In an announcement on the WordPress.com blog, WordPress 2.7 will arrive on Thursday, December 4, 2008, at 8PM Eastern Time in the United States.
The article also includes instructions on what to expect on WordPress.com from the new features and instructions on using the new Administration Panel interface, though most of it is really user friendly and intuitive.
WordPress 2.7 Release Candidate 1 was released December 1, with 280 commits since WordPress 2.7 beta 3. This release includes the new menu icons created by the winners of WordPress 2.7: Project Icon, and fixes to the browser bugs that have been giving the development team headaches.
Testing is in high drive if WordPress.com will have WordPress 2.7 on board in two days. This could mean that the full version of WordPress should be released just before or at the same time. Originally, WordPress.com bloggers were told by Matt Mullenweg and Jane Wells of Automattic that WordPress.com bloggers would see WordPress 2.7 about two weeks after the full version launch. Unless WordPress.com will be testing the new version before the full version launch, be ready to install WordPress 2.7 by the weekend.
Cheers and good thoughts to all the hearty developers and testers not getting any sleep to ensure the deadline is met. This is really going to be one of the best versions of WordPress.
For a glimpse of some of the new features, see WordPress 2.7 Release News and Links.