Ubuntu are planning to move their distribution to platforms that have a touch screen, including tablet computers, this is the real reason for the Unity netbook interface being foisted on desktop computer users, driving them in droves towards the Linux Mint 11 distribution that still shipped the Gnome 2.32.1 interface instead of the horrible Unity interface that is just Ubuntu netbook edition for the desktop. Linux Mint 12 will remain compatible with Gnome 2 and this will undoubtedly please those of us who are not happy at all with Unity. If you want the Gnome 2 styled desktop on Ubuntu 11.10, you can just install Lxde and configure it with a top & bottom panel and select a nice GTK theme to get a nice and sleek desktop that will not get in your way.
And Xfce, even though that looks a little dated, you at least get a nice and fast desktop alternative to a horrendous Mac OSX copy. There will be many other distributions of Linux that will include better interfaces and the MATE source fork of the Gnome 2 desktop will be a key factor in re-inventing the Linux desktop and put a stop to this horrible Unity calamity. Macintosh computer users are not going to desert their beloved Apple machines for an Ubuntu computer, and Canonical really have screwed the pooch if that was their agenda. Try again Mark Shuttleworth, your desktop sucks. At least Unity is free, no one would ever want to pay for that waste of bandwidth and RAM. Not to forget hard disk space.
Canonical moving towards tablets and mobile devices. God help us!