no 'year of the linux desktop' bullshit but just read this:

I have been using ubuntu 13 since the first alpha and I can categorically state that this is by far the best experience I've had with ANY distro... or OS for that matter.

Unity became extremely functional and clean... the theme needs to be reworked as it suffers from 'gnome' (unelegant ugly fat icons), the 'ambiance' colors are also all wrong and the design clearly lacks... but the speed and 'structure' is absolutely amazing.

Gnome 3, lxde, Windows 95 to 7, Os X 10.4 to 10.8, guess what DE I now prefer by a long shot? UNITY

I got so accostumed to unity that even in windows I'm placing my cursor on the left side to see if the bar pops up, frankly I can't even go back to elementary now and they had a killer DE.

Ubuntu 13 has been showing rock like stability and amazing speed, I have had some issues mostly pertaining to uninstalling software and the software center not working anymore and trying to disable background processes.

That said it is extremely easy to remove the photo/video/amazon lenses and reclaim 30 or so megs of ram. You can go even further and remove cups and bluetooth and you can have ubuntu 13 taking a whopping 300 MEGS OF RAM -> NO BS.

But what will be the game changer here?

third party software.

namely stuff like steam games and editshare's lightworks, libre office 4, all will pretty much be 'ubuntu certified'.

I cast my prediction:

Ubuntu 13 will be the most sucessful ubuntu release, the most sucessful linux distro release ever and it will AT LEAST double the ubuntu user base.

canonical needs to get their shit together when it comes to design and many other aspects tho.