Within the Ubuntu community, users know Canonical delivers its Linux distribution upgrades each April and October. So anticipation should be building -- right now -- for Ubuntu 13.10's launch in October 2013. There's only one problem: Most eyes are focused on the Ubuntu Edge smartphone initiative at the moment. Is that good for Canonical's partners and customers?

Linux Advocate Jack Walden, a blogger for Techrepublic, thinks it's time for Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth and his team to focus on these three top priorities, in this order:

  1. Successfully deliver Ubuntu 13.10.
  2. Create a mass market for Ubuntu smartphones and tablets.
  3. Build Ubuntu Edge for enthusiasts.

Canonical can't afford any missteps in its core market -- PC operating systems -- where indsutry unit shipments continue to sink. The company certainly isn't ignoring Ubuntu 13.10's development. Among the key enhancements: Mir, which Shuttleworth described in a July 2013 blog. Our own Chris Tozzi expressed optimism about the Mir, a display server that Canonical is developing from the ground up.

But even as Ubuntu 13.10 approaches, most of the industry chatter involves Ubuntu Edge, a smartphone that transforms into a PC when connected to a keyboard and monitor. 

Shuttleworth senses that the world wants an alternative to Apple iOS and Google Android on mobile devices -- though plenty of skeptics will say there's only room for two massively successful mobile OSes.

Either way, Ubuntu Edge will face plenty of competition when it arrives further down the road. Near term, all eyes should be on Ubuntu 13.10.