This updated 2D driver drops EXA and DRI1 support in favor of only supporting UXA and DRI2, respectively. We talked about these fundamental changes to the Intel Linux driver on Phoronix last week.
Beyond killing off these code paths that Intel no longer wants to support, VLD support added into XvMC for MPEG2, which helps with lowering the CPU usage during video playback. XvMC though is still not nearly as good as VDPAU.
There are quite a number of bug-fixes and other improvements to the xf86-video-intel 2.8.0 driver, which are all documented in the mailing list release announcement. Now let's see what Intel can come up with for the xf86-video-intel 2.9 display driver.