The Linux kernel 3.3 has arrived, with one of the most notable changes being the reintegration of Google's Android into the mainline:
Curious readers may have noticed that even on their Android 4.0 devices, the Linux kernel has remained at version 2.6.x with only the most recent Android 4.0.3 releases integrating the 3.0 kernel, primarily for bug-fixing purposes, with the OS falling behind major changes made in kernel versions 3.1 and 3.2.
Android, as a rapidly evolving OS, features many bespoke subsystems and rush modifications from manufacturers of new SoCs and devices, that make it difficult and slow to integrate with mainline Linux, a process which firms looking to ship products can't wait for. Whilst the reintegration into mainline Kernel 3.3 may now help reduce the difference between Android development and mainline development, there's no guarantee that the same splitting process will not happen again, though with any luck to a lesser extent than before. In the meantime, new chips and hardware supported since Kernel 2.6 should now be available to developers looking to load-up such devices with Google Android.