Instead of going for a glorious 'break-everything' approach Linus has described the change-set as nothing in particular:
We are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We've been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. [...] There's absolutely no reason to aim for the traditional ".0" problems that so many projects have.
Instead the release will work on testing the build scripts for the numbering change, but will also include the "usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes" and "some nice VFS cleanups, various VM fixes, some nice initial ARM consolidation (yay!)".
"In general this is supposed to be a fairly normal release cycle" as Linus puts it.
Kernel renumbering was discussed last year, but I like Linus’ ability to make a decision otherwise such an otherwise meaningless change could be caught up in endless squabbling. "Let's face it - what's the point of being in charge if you can't pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I'm just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You'll like it."
So, no bandwagon. Just the same usual reliable improvements with a new shiny number.