During the Drupal founder’s keynote address at DrupalCon Portland 2013, Dries Buytaert stated that the goal would be to release Drupal 8.0 at the end of 2013 (or when it’s done), which could be in early 2014. This means that we should see a Drupal 8.0 release before June 2014.
Pixo has been following the release of Drupal 8 ever since its inception and discussed the roadmap to its release in early 2012. The timeline of this release is very important to us and our clients, since it contains a large number of improvements and has security implications for any Drupal 6 websites. At the end of June, Drupal core contributor and Acquia Code and Community Strategist xjm wrote an extremely informative blog post entitled “Technical debt in Drupal 8 (or, when will it be ready?)” that involved directly querying the Drupal.org database to provide supporting data. Based on these prior data and the announcements that have been made up to this point, there is still no specific target for a Drupal 8 release date. A visit to the Drupal 8 release cycle page on Drupal.org shows that the Polish phase for Drupal 8 runs from July 1, 2013 to TBD as the end date.
Dries recently announced the Drupal 8 API freeze on July 1. What does this mean? It means that Drupal has entered its polish phase, a period during which core contributors are focused on addressing bugs and other issues, working toward a beta release. During this phase, alpha releases of Drupal 8 are available for anyone to download and install, although these releases are only for development and testing and should definitely not be used in a production environment. In the API freeze announcement Dries has stated that after maintainers have addressed all of the critical bugs in the upgrade path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, there will be a beta release available during this phase. A release candidate will not be available until there are no known critical issues. As of the time of this writing, there are currently 44 outstanding critical issues in the Drupal 8 core issue queue.