To start, here's a vague, quickly-assembled timeline of the next 6 months or so:
As far as OpenSUSE is concerned, the next release of Leap is tentatively scheduled for the first week in November. This is about when 42.1 was released, so not much of a surprise there. Going by what happened with Newt OS 16, the next major version of Newt OS can probably be expected sometime in December of this year, though it could happen earlier or later within the range of a month or so.
Speaking of Newt OS 17, I have a rather ambitious and possibly un-smart idea for the next release. As you probably know, Newt OS started with the Gnome desktop environment, and I have something of an emotional attachment to it. However, it just doesn't work great under Newt OS; it's difficult to configure, and has issues with YaST. For this reason, I will not be building a Gnome flavor of Newt OS 17. If you want a Gnome desktop, there are many other distro's out there, including openSUSE, that will better fit your needs.
In addition to retiring Gnome, I've been considering focusing solely on the Loki DE for both standard and Studio releases. The benefits of Loki have begun to outweigh the benefits of LXDE; GTK2 is being depreciated across most distributions, and will likely be obsolete within the next year or two. Additionally, LXDE as a desktop is being superseded by LXQt. While LXQt is an awesome project, it has not yet reached the level of maturity of LXDE or XFCE. In the future, there may be an LXQt flavor of Newt OS, but for now, that is not an option.
So where am I going with this?
When all is said and done, I am aiming for making Newt OS a GTK3-based distribution, featuring a unique desktop environment (Loki) that offers something others do not. It will be available as either a standard install or as a studio install, which includes the best Linux software out there.
I also recognize the importance of stability, and understand that Loki still has some kinks to work out. I have considered making a Maté spin, as a more stable and modern replacement for both Gnome and LXDE. The Maté desktop has made some impressive progress over the last couple of years, and it offers the benefits of both Gnome and LXDE without the problems.
I know this is kind of long, so here's a TL;DR for you:
openSUSE Leap 42.2 is out in November, Newt OS 17 soon after that
Newt OS Gnome and LXDE are getting the ax - Gnome doesn't work, LXDE is depreciating
Loki will be main focus of development
Might do a Maté spin for a more stable desktop
And school's almost done :)