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The new version of GNOME 2.28 has been released (complete release notes).

Many people were saying Gnome 2.28 will be the last version of the 2.x series. That's partially not true: the development doesn't stop with GNOME 2.28. Work has already begun on GNOME 2.30, due to be released exactly six months after 2.28. It's just uncertain if GNOME 2.30 (to be released in March 2010) or GNOME 2.32 (scheduled for September 2010) will become GNOME 3.0 will be made in early November 2009.

Now, let's take a look at some changes / improvements / new additions in Gnome 2.28:

- A preview of GNOME Shell is available in Gnome 2.28. The standard Metacity window manager can be replaced with Gnome Shell using the desktop effects screen or by running gnome-shell --replace from a terminal window:

- Two nice features are the ability to use a mobile phone as a web modem via Bluetooth and PulseAudio integration for headsets and headphones. GNOME Bluetooth supports hundreds of Bluetooth devices, including mice, keyboards and headsets.

- Epiphany Web Browser switched to WebKit from Gecko for its rendering engine.

- Lots of improvements to Empathy IM, including the posibility to allow Empathy contacts to access your desktop via remote desktop viewer Vino – very practical when you need some remote support. A new geolocation feature based on Geoclue now lets you display the location of XMPP contacts (Jabber and GoogleTalk).

- DVD playback in GNOME's Media Player has been improved with the ability to navigate DVD menus and resume playback from the last position. The YouTube plugin has also seen some speed improvements.

- The Time Tracker applet, first introduced in GNOME 2.24, is now able to colour-code tasks, resulting in a better overview.

- GNOME Volume Control has added the ability for you to control a subwoofer and channel fading. Also new is that when changing settings, changes are now instantly applied:

And a lot more. Complete release notes.