Yes, WordPress 2.1 Release Candidate 1 is now available for download. There are some cool new features in WordPress 2.1:
Much more efficient database code, faster than previous versions
Lossless XML import and export for moving between WordPress blogs
Search engine blocker for private blogs
You can set any “page” to be the front page of your site, and put the latest posts somewhere else
Links can now have sub-categories
Redesigned login screen
More AJAX to make custom fields, moderation, deletions, etc all instant
Pages can now be drafts, or private
Minor admin redesign
My oh my.. I can’t wait to get myself the final release of this version. Everything is said to be faster than the present version. I found that the WordPress dashboard’s loading time is very slow, maybe due to it gathering informations on WordPress I suppose..
If you decide to try out the Release Candidate, please back up your database before upgrading. With a backup of your 2.0.x database you will be able to revert if RC1 does not work out for you. Once WordPress upgrades your database to 2.1, you cannot go back to your 2.0.x database unless you restore it from a backup.
You can download the RC1 version and get your hands on the latest version. Or, you can just sit back and upgrade to 2.0.7 while waiting for the final release of v2.1 in a few days. I think I’ll just stick with the current version and wait for the final release of v2.1 later.