It's arriving two days late, but the first alpha release for Ubuntu 9.04 is now available. While there are some updated packages, to the normal desktop user there really isn't much to note in the way of changes. However, to learn more about the features that will be introduced in future development releases of Ubuntu 9.04, checkout our Exciting Features For Ubuntu 9.04 article.
The Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" Alpha 1 announcement can be read on the development mailing list. The Alpha 1 release of Ubuntu 9.04 is only available via the alternate and server CDs, but not the standard desktop LiveCD. The second alpha release is scheduled for release on the 18th of December and the final release is planned for the 23rd of April (Ubuntu 9.04 Release Schedule).