Magento 188.8.131.52-alpha1 was released on December 30th, 2011. The new alpha version of Communitiy edition shows some new functionality, few improvements and many bug fixes. Based on the previous versions releases we expect the final version to be announced in April-May 2012.
- New Layered Navigation price bucket algorithm
- Added captcha functionality
- Implemented different base prices for customer groups
- Added auto generation of coupon codes
- Backup and Rollback functionality
- VAT ID Validation added
- Implemented DHL for Europe
- XmlConnect package release v22.1
- Upgraded TinyMCE to v3.4.7
- Indexers refactoring
- Theme for iPhone was redesigned
- Implemented localized PayPal settings for Japan
- Added PayPal Advanced payment method
Our opinion is that the most interesting changes in this version are two: different base prices for customer groups and auto generation of coupon codes (this is now present in the Enterprise edition). This means online store administrators will be able easily to offer different prices to particular customers or groups of customers. At the moment this option is very limited and available through Promotions. The announced changes suppose Magento is going to be more wholesale-friendly and more Europe oriented platform (VAT ID check, DHL Europe).
Another interesting change is redesigning of iPhone theme. Magento continue to count on mobile commerce which is growing fast in the last years.