CentOS gets with the RHEL 5.7 Program
From the 'Catching Up' files:
CentOS took a lot of flack from all angles around the extreme delayed release of CentOS 6. That was a release that came out in July, some 8 months after the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 release.
While CentOS lagged on RHEL 6, they're doing much better keeping up with RHEL 5.x.
That's a great thing for CentOS and its large community of users. There are a lot of enterprises and hosting vendors that rely on CentOS and it's critical that they have up-to-date distros. Sure those same groups could just pay for RHEL, but hey why pay when you can get if for free?
CentOS still isn't quite out of the woods when it comes to tracking RHEL. Oracle is still significantly faster and Scientific Linux has been pretty good too. It still remains to be seen how well the project can keep up on the RHEL 6.x side too, which is another key challenge that CentOS will need to overcome, sooner rather than later.
In terms of features for CentOS 5.7, security is the big winner this time around. CentOS 5.7 (like RHEL 5.7) includes OpenSCAP which is an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) framework for creating a standardized approach for maintaining secure systems.