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WordPress 4.9 will be the second “major” release of 2017 with the theme of editing code, managing plugins and themes, a user-centric way to customize a site, and polishing some recently added features over this last year. Mel Choyce and Weston Ruter are the co-Release Leads for 4.9.

Release Schedule

June 8, 2017 Trunk is open for business. (Post-4.8)
August 2, 2017 4.9 Kickoff meeting.
September 27, 2017 (+8w) Last chance to merge feature projects.
October 5, 2017 (+8d)
October 4, 2017 (+1w)
Beta 1 and feature project merge deadline.
From this point on, no more commits for any new enhancements or feature requests in this release cycle, only bug fixes and inline documentation. Work can continue on enhancements/feature requests not completed and committed by this point, and can be picked up for commit again at the start of WordPress 5.0.
October 12, 2017 (+1w)
October 11, 2017 (+1w)
Beta 2.
October 19, 2017 (+1w)
October 18, 2017 (+1w)
Beta 3.
October 25, 2017 (+6d)
October 23, 2017 (+5d)
Beta 4.
October 31, 2017 (+6d)
October 30, 2017 (+5d)
Release candidate and soft string freeze.
November 7, 2017 (+1w)
November 6, 2017 (+1w)
Final release candidate if needed and hard string freeze.
November 14, 2017 (+1w) Release candidate 3.
November 13, 2017 (+1w) Dry run for release of WordPress 4.9 and 24 hour code freeze.
November 15, 2017 (+1d)
November 14, 2017 (+1d)
🎶 Target date for release of WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”. 🎶


To get involved in WordPress core development, head on over to Trac and pick a 4.9 ticket. Need help? Check out the Core Contributor Handbook. Get your patches done and submitted as soon as possible, then help find people to test the patches and leave feedback on the ticket. Patches for enhancements will not be committed after the dates posted above, so that we can all focus on squashing bugs and  deliver the most bug-free WordPress ever. If you want to dive deeper into 4.9, development is discussed at a weekly meeting in the #core Slack channel and occurs next at Wednesday at 20:00 UTC. Wish us luck!