Another reason for the higher version number is to signify a certain maturity with the script. Commentics has been available for nearly two years now and a lot of bugs and improvements have been made over this time.
Other integration improvements include a switch to ReCaptcha (this is because the existing captcha had failed to work properly for many people and for many reasons, and in every instance where ReCaptcha had been recommended as an alternative, it had received positive feedback). Also there is a nice improvement where if the page is connected to a MySQL database at the time when Commentics first starts, the script remembers the name of the database and re-connects to it just before it finishes. Finally, there is now no need to globalise the PHP variables before the integration code (if you had to do this).
In general there have been a few other significant improvements. One is that it will be possible to initially hide the form with a link to expand it. Another is a 'Text Finder' tool in the admin panel. With this you can search for any piece of text which is displayed on the frontend or backend and the tool will tell you exactly what language file and what line number to edit it. Another improvement is that the user now has a choice of whether they want their form inputs to be remembered by a cookie. This is important considering the recent changes in EU privacy laws and other such mandates.
Due to the code re-write, as well as forum users submitting issues, several bugs are fixed. These include dollar symbols in the database connection details causing problems, and the reply link not working when a base href tag is set. Various other bugs are also fixed.
This version is still in development so in terms of plans for what will be changed before it's released, there is a plan to add wildcard support for the word detection features so that it will be possible to use the * symbol to match a word, there is a plan to make a few improvements to the Page ID code including an improvement so that the script doesn't create the page until someone posts (useful if you have many pages), there is a plan to change the Rich Snippets so that activating it is as easy as enabling it in the admin panel (no mark-up to add yourself), and there is a plan to avoid any subscription related error messages when a user is already subscribed and they select to subscribe again when posting.
If there is time I'd like to look into the possibility of adding a way for users to rate multiple factors like for example the price, quality and service. I'd also like to develop a way for the administrator to add extra fields to the form but this is a big feature so it may arrive later in the 2.x series.
With regards to release dates, it is planned that it will be at least a few weeks.