One of the fundamental shifts in Genode's development that happened this cycle is moving to an open development cycle rather than within the confines of Genode Labs. Genode is now being developed in the open on GitHub.
As far as what's new to the 12.02 release itself, "The major new additions to the base system are a new framework API for accessing memory-mapped I/O resources, special support for using Genode as user-level component framework on Linux, and API support for the reuse of existing components in the form of sandboxed libraries. These changes are accompanied with new device-driver infrastructure such as the first version of a device driver manager and a new ACPI parser. Feature-wise, the current release takes the first steps towards the goal of the Roadmap for 2012, turning Genode into a general-purpose OS ready for everyday use by its developers. According to the roadmap, we enhanced the Noux runtime with fork semantics so that we can run command-line based GNU programs such as the bash shell and coreutils unmodified and natively on various microkernels. Furthermore, the library infrastructure has been enhanced by porting and updating libraries such as Qt 4.7.4 and the MuPDF PDF rendering engine."
For extensive details on this Genode OS Framework 12.02 release, see the release notes.