Having a fixed release schedule has many benefits, such as the fact that both third party developers as well as end-users can more effectively plan for upcoming releases. It also prevents postponed releases. However, it also has its downsides, such as the dangers of rushing out a release to meet the schedule's deadline, even though it's not ready yet.
The openSUSE team decided against the six month schedule employed by Ubuntu and Fedora because they believe they cannot ensure quality with such a short period between releases. "A six-month release schedule is not something we consider feasible to maintain high-quality standards," Kulow wrote in his announcement. Originally, openSUSE 11.2 was scheduled for September 2009, but the team decided to implement the new schedule right away, meaning 11.2 gets pushed back to November. The releases that follow look like this (with the names and changes being subject to change):
- November 2009: "Fichte" 11.2
- July 2010: "Rousseau" 11.3
- March 2011: "Voltaire" 12.0
- November 2011: "Lessing" 12.1
openSUSE 11.2 will include GNOME 2.28, KDE 4.3, Linux kernel 2.6.30 or higher, ext4 (maybe even as the default), a web interface to YaST, beter support for netbooks, and much more.