Fedora 18 was initially scheduled to be release on Nov 6, 2012 but after several postponements, it was delayed until Jan 8, 2013 (at least for now), and in the same way, the Beta release (schedule for Oct 2, 2012) has been finally release Nov 27 2012 (for more up-to-date information of the schedule check Fedora 18 Schedule Wiki.
As we already saw in the first alpha release, the new Anaconda installer is one of the key features in Fedora's next release, is one of the most modern and user friendly installer you will find in any distro, and with this new release we are finally seeing a great improvement over the last one.
One really big issue, that fedora could not resolve yet is the software center, to install Software you need the console, there's no way you can use GNOME Software without driving your self crazy, even this is nothing new for the experience users, for new users it is just a deal breaker. But as always, there's light at the end of the road, Dnf (next generation Yum) which is amazingly fast and will (not for sure, but likely) replace Yum in Fedora 19 can be use in Fedora 18, so we can give it a try and hopefully we will also get and a better GNOME Software App in GNOME 3.8.
Fedora 18 also includes a number of updated applications, including Samba 4; Gnome desktop version 3.6; Perl 5.16; Python 3.3; Rails 3.2; Linux kernel 3.6.7-5; GCC: 4.7.2; X 1.13; and the most recent release of OpenStack, called Folsom, but does not address the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). While both the Linux Foundation and Fedora itself are working on ways to offer trusted UEFI keys for Linux, none of this work has been added to Fedora 18 yet.