This morning, i got an automatic email from MATE github account that three of the core packages of MATE (mate-common, mate-desktop, and libmatekbd) has been tagged 1.8.0 by Stefano Karapetsas.
While there hasn't any released tarballs yet in their public download repository, it seems that the MATE developers is ready to release MATE 1.8 this March and i believe it should be released pretty soon. Based on MATE 1.7.90 testing that has been conducted, it's very stable, fast, and consistent.
For those using MATE 1.6, upgrading to 1.8 is pretty straightforward and will be a smooth one. You might want to see new/renamed/removed packages from 1.6 -> 1.8 on MATE-1.8-CHANGES if you are planning to upgrade. Also, don't forget to check the KNOWN ISSUES and also UPGRADE instructions for more detailed step by step on how to upgrade to MATE 1.8.
For those who wonders what changes that has been applied to MATE 1.8 can see their roadmap which has been updated to move some targets postponed to MATE 1.10.
Visit the MSB project or our GitHub repository for more information about MATE SlackBuilds Project.