If anyone keeps up with the news on Mojang or Bukkit (The software that keeps our servers running with plugins) You may have noticed most if not all the dev team has just quit Bukkit. Also a DMCA takedown notice was issued to Bukkit/Spigot/Cauldron. Here is some info about it: http://www.reddit.com/r/Minecraft/comments/2fkz55/as_one_of_the_original_contributors_to_bukkit/
The bad news is it may be awhile before a 1.8 update can be officially released for public servers (Possibly never under Bukkit) The good news is there is a new project which plans to replace bukkit which is a client/server architecture which supports BOTH plugins and mods. Yay if the mods part is also true, as this could allow players to join a server without first needing to download the mods before hand. This process could be streamlined before joining a server which would be cool if done this way.