As most of you know, the Joomla! CMS Releases are based on the STS/LTS Model (Short Term Support/Long Term Support). And if I need to be more precise, all X.5 versions are LTS and the rest are STS. For example Joomla 1.5 and 2.5 are LTS releases which means they are supported for more than two years (twenty-seven months), since Joomla 1.6, 1.7, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, etc. are STS releases, supported for seven months. You can find more information in this Joomla Doc.
But this release model is now discontinued and it is discontinued for good! It is one of the best and most important decisions the Joomla PTL (Production Leadership Team) have ever taken. Or at least this is my personal opinion :)
There were big downsites of the STS/LTS model. It really wasn't good for the Joomla! project as a whole. It was preventing the CMS to evolve, to become more powerful and feature-rich. And in my opinion, this release model was one of the main reasons why Joomla! CMS didn't get a bigger user base and market share in the last few years, while Wordpress became the leading platform in this field, eventhough it is totally not better than Joomla. The following paragraph from the Official Joomla Announcement explains everything:
If 3.5 were to be the LTS for the 3.x series as previously planned, then any feature proposals or enhancements to the 3.x series would not be able to be merged until development started on 4.0. Now, it is possible to continue development on the 3.x series without locking into a specific release as the LTS release, which enables a longer support period for the 3.x series overall.
The PTL have not taken this decision overnight. The discussion started several months ago and thank God they took the correct decision. With the STS/LTS model the users were confused and most of them didn't really know which version they should use. They were afraid of the STS releases and didn't want to use them. They were thinking that STS is only for test purposes and not stable-enough for a live website. All this was totally wrong. I explained everything in the Themeforest Forum almost four months ago. Please have a look at it :))
So, as a conclusion, I'm really happy of the fact that there will be no more STS/LTS release model. I think all of you should be very happy as well :) This is a huge step forward for the Joomla! Project and for its brighter future. I would also like to take the chance to congratulate all guys and gals behind the Joomla! Project for their hard work and dedication especially in the last year or so - Thank you very much! Keep up the great work!
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below. You opionion is much appreciated!