Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft and better known as Notch, announced via blog post earlier today what can be expected from upcoming Minecraft updates as well as a possible release date change.
Since the next Minecraft update has become much bigger, and because it will take longer than expected to finish, the creative minds behind the game have decided to break the release into two parts. The first part, 1.7 will most likely feature bug fixes as well as implementing pistons, a previously player-made mod while 1.8 will contain the adventure update which will contain the next stage of the Minecraft Beta. Details on what will be in the beta have been scarce since Notch and co. have decided they want players to be surprised by the next major update.
As for the full release, while it will still be in November, it has been pushed back to “sometime the week after 11/11/11” according to Notch, which means it will not be released at the same time as Skyrim.
[The Word of Notch]