Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" should have it's blueprints more or less stable by now. Here's a few things to keep a look out for.
Ubuntu System Compositor
A new framework(?) that lets the Ubuntu developers control the display from bootloader all the way to desktop. This is a good thing when it finally comes to fruition. In the mean time, I'm expecting my earlier prediction to hold, at least for most users. We'll probably see this mature in time for Ubuntu 13.10 at the earliest.
More details on the blueprint page.
Update Manager revamp
The current Update Manager has been around for a long time now. It's showing its age, I bet. In more recent Ubuntu releases, we've been seeing some Update Manager related problems when upgrading. It's a sign there's a need to take a look at this most important part of the Ubuntu experience.
Check out the blueprint.
Hybrid graphics support
It's high time we get cracking on this one. Less power when we don't need it, more when we do. It's always a good thing to minimise power consumption when possible while maximising performance when required by the current workload.
Just like the Ubuntu System Compositor, this one's going to take a while before most users could benefit.
It's never a pretty sight when an operating system fails, but we should at least be able to handle problems where the computer can reasonably deduce a good way to minimise damage.
OpenJDK7, btrfs and Python 3
Transitions to OpenJDK 7 and Python 3 will start here. I'm thinking the developers will have their hands full on Update Manager and System Compositor hence these transitions won't be complete come October.
That, or Update Manager & System Compositor will be delayed further by the transition.
We'll hopefully catch up to the current state of btrfs in Ubuntu 12.10. I know I'm itching to finally make this my filesystem of choice.
There's far more going on then could possibly be mentioned here. Check out the full list of blueprints for Quantal for more.