Now for the exciting part, the features.
Well, as it turn out to be the new kernel actually is not expected to have any ground breaking new features, instead according to Linus its just an improved kernel with new device drivers and some bug fixes. no API or ABI changes. This means no significant changes in the kernel.
The current kernel version of 2.6.xx have been around since 2003, therefore i guess Linus might have thought its better to go for a major release number.