Maverick Meerkat is due for beta soon and already Mark Shuttleworth has christened the next release of Ubuntu. Ubuntu 11.04 will be the Natty Narwhal.
Natty's focus on the GPU side of things is perhaps influenced by the recent release of Compiz 0.9 and the fact that there's a lot of things going on with regards to the GPU lately. Pushing the envelope of what can be done with current GPU support may be just the thing we need to get better hardware support faster. There's simply no better way to shake out bugs in drivers than to use them.
Let's not forget also the new uTouch multi-touch framework recently announced to the world with all its gesture goodness. Multi-touch has been getting a lot of focus in recent years thanks to Apple's release of the original iPhone. Now everybody else is getting on the bandwagon. Touch devices are becoming more widespread and Ubuntu needs to support it so it can continue to grow.
Expect your desktop to look good and run fast.