The most important change in the new version is the support for lambda expressions, under Project Lambda. This is the driving new feature of Java 8.
Other features include:
- a new Date & Time API
- a standard API for performing Base64 Encoding / Decoding
- stronger integration with JavaFX
- Annotations on Java types
Although it was initially advertised to be launched in September 2013, the release was pushed to March 2014 due to security issues. A Developer Preview version will be however available in September 2013.
More details on the progress of Java 8 can be found on the official website.