Drupal 7 has been a multi-year effort on behalf of over 1,000 contributors. Since February 2008, we've manged to make enormous improvements; it is a true metamorphosis for designers, developers, and administrators.
The last months we've seen Drupal 7 getting steadily closer to its release and critical issues dealt with one by one. Release management is not always easy, and I've always based my decisions part on data, and part on my "gut". Both are indicating that it is time to release Drupal 7. It is important to all of us in the Drupal community.
We decided that we will try to release Drupal 7.0 on January 5th, 2011 — unless we run into outstanding critical bugs that are absolute showstoppers. All software ships with bugs, and sometimes serious ones. If there are remaining critical issues on January 5th, they will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but may be pushed out to Drupal 7.1 release and beyond. With over 28,000 automated tests and thousands of existing Drupal 7 sites "in the wild", Drupal 7 is the most tested version of Drupal in our project's history. Without doubt, Drupal 7.0 will be more stable than the initial Drupal 6.0 release.
Now that the release date is set in stone, we still have 3 weeks to make any final adjustments. The holidays are a perfect time for bug fixing. Get the entire family involved! :)
To celebrate the release of Drupal 7, the Drupal community is organizing world-wide local release parties on Friday, January 7th. If you're looking for a Drupal 7 release party to attend, check http://www.drupal7releaseparty.org or organize your own. So far, we'll have parties in more than 50 cities around the world. Let's see if we can increase that to one in every country in the world!
— Dries Buytaert