MediaPortal, one of the more popular open-source and free HTPC software programs is preparing to release the 1.1.0 (alpha) version of MediaPortal 1. This alpha version is a work in progress (they've labeled it "for testing only") that will move MediaPortal 1 towards a December 2009 final release version. Many changes will be included and it should "shore-up" this version of MediaPortal that we've all come to know.
The bigger news is that with this final work being completed on MediaPortal 1 this year, the focus for developers moves to MediaPortal 2, the next generation of MediaPortal. So far, MediaPortal 2 has been developed with a small group of the MediaPortal team so the new focus on MediaPortal 2 means more developers involved and faster progress towards a new HTPC software. Current estimates are for MediaPortal 2 to take another year or more of development so the sooner they focus on it the better. The good news there is they plan to begin releasing public "test" versions of MediaPortal 2 so everyone can get a feel for what it will look like.