The WordPress (news, site) team showed signs of life last week with the release of 3.2 beta. The tester version of the popular blogging platform revealed a new theme, a UI facelift, and the nixing of Internet Explorer 6 support. 

According to the official WordPress announcement, the platform highlights breakdown like this:

  • Performance improvements
  • The editor’s composing experience is now available from HTML mode
  • The first Admin UI refresh since 2008
  • The new default theme, Twenty Eleven (pictured below), is based on the popular Duster theme. Features include rotating header images and post format support
  • Added links to the admin bar aim to make it even more useful

WordPress Twenty Eleven Theme

A Cautionary Tale

In addition to fun upgrades, the WordPress team has also set a few new requirements. PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 are now a must, and Internet Explorer 6 will no longer be supported. Additionally, the favorites menu has been removed.

"If you’ve written any plugins that use this menu, it’s time to switch over to an admin bar placement," wrote UX lead, Jane Wells.

WordPress 3.1 was just released three months ago, touting more Web CMS oriented features than ever before (custom post types, internal linking, advanced taxonomy and custom fields queries, for example). If you're eager to check out how the team is doing on that M.O. then you can download the tester here, and bug reporting would be totally appreciated.

As always, it's important to note that using this version on a production site is not recommended, but with the stable version slated for a June release, at least you have a few weeks to play around.