Almost a year since version 3.0 came out, yesterday saw the release of WordPress 3.1. As well as bringing the standard array of bug fixes and such forth, this update also brings some new features to the table. The question I have to ask though, is ‘were these new features worth the wait? ‘

Eight months for a .X version is a long time in the software world and fallow times like this can sometimes leave the market wide open for the new hot thing to come along and steal the crown. Fortunately for Automattic, WordPress still reigns supreme in the blogosphere – I love it and use it on my sites – but update freaks would probably argue that if something else had come along in the meantime, they’d have switched. A big part of the reason that I don’t have Firefox as my primary browser anymore is that I got bored with waiting for version four, and there are people with less patience than me when it comes to new features or just that shiny ‘updates are available’ icon.

I won’t go into detail about the new features are here – everyone else has done that. Personally, I think some of them are great and some of them are things that I’ve seen before from either plugins or in the case of the Admin Bar, on when this blog was hosted on there, but that’s neither here nor there. The real question I have is how damaging could this time between updates have been? Are people the same with their CMS as they are with browsers, gadgets and almost everything else and want an update every five minutes, or are they more patient when it comes to something like this?

Personally speaking, I’m a little more forgiving of a CMS. When I got bored of playing around with my settings in WordPress 3.0, I didn’t bemoan the time WordPress 3.1 was taking, I tuned up my plugin setup, switched the theme or (occasionally) went away and wrote something for the site in question.

All that said, I’m really liking some of the new features. The fact that my SEO plugin integrates with the Admin bar is really handy and I can’t wait to get to grips with Post Formats. This time, I think WordPress got away with the long release cycle.

What do you think? Is it just me worrying about competitors stealing thunder during update cycles or is this a serious threat to thrones throughout the software world?