Linus has just released Linux Kernel 2.6.38-rc1, which means he closed the merge window, a timeframe where developers can submit their major changes to be included in the next Linux kernel release (which will be likely be in April).
In his announcement, he noted two favorite new features which should be another performance improvement efforts. Those two are RCU-based path name lookup and group scheduling. He said he saw a nice improvement after applying all these patches and it should boost overal performance on many common desktop computers.
I'm looking forward to see 2.6.38 in April. That should be a good gift for my birthday