Speaking of ubiquity, I'm not going to predict that 2013 will be the oft-anticipated "Year of Linux on the Desktop," which has questionable relevance at this point anyway, but I do think two key things happened in 2012 that make Linux a more compelling desktop choice for companies and individual users. First: Windows 8 happened. Second: Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular have finally reached a point at which their features truly match--or even surpass--what Windows offers mainstream users. It will take time, to be sure, for many to overcome the inertia that keeps them locked into Microsoft's plan, but I do think things are now looking better for desktop Linux than they ever have before, and that will only continue throughout the upcoming year.
4. Linux preloaded
Whatever your views of Windows' long-term prospects, it seems pretty safe to say that the widespread skepticism currently greeting Windows 8 means that more business and individual users will be seeking out other choices. That, indeed, will drive fresh uptake of alternatives like Ubuntu on the desktop, and it will also fuel the growing number of hardware options sold with Linux preloaded. Dell's new developer-focused "Sputnik" laptop is but one of numerous recent examples, and I have no doubt that trend is going to continue in the upcoming year. More choice is always a good thing for users.
5. Back to basics