As the CeBIT upcoming convention in Germany nears, Canonical has announced what it will be showcasing at the event--which, in turn, provides some clues about where the company behind one of the world's most popular open source operating systems might be concentrating its efforts in coming months. Alas, Ubuntu tablets are not on the list. But if you're interested in Ubuntu on servers in and the cloud, there's going to be a lot to see in Hanover between March 5 and 9.

As Canonical explained in recent blog post, its exhibit at CeBIT will focus on two areas of the Ubuntu world:
  • Ubuntu for the cloud. From what we gather, this portion of the display will communicate the value not just of the Ubuntu Cloud Images themselves, but of the broader Ubuntu cloud ecosystem. That includes upstream components such as OpenStack and Canonical deployment tools including Juju.
  • The Landscape platform, Canonical's solution for managing large networks of Ubuntu desktops, servers and cloud nodes. The emphasis on Landscape is interesting, since the tool was one of Canonical's first revenue-generating endeavors, and has not been the subject of much focus in recent years in Canonical marketing material. But maybe the company wants to bring Landscape back to the fore--which would make a lot of sense if it hopes to continue promoting Ubuntu in the enterprise.
Also notable is what Canonical won't be showcasing at CeBIT. Again, Ubuntu tablets--and, specifically, Canonical's plan to make Ubuntu run on Google's Nexus 7 device--which have generated a great deal of buzz in the Linux world in recent months, are not going to be a featured part of the exhibit (even though Canonical will be giving away Nexus 7s to lucky conference attendees). That's probably mostly a reflection of the fact that the tablet version of Ubuntu remains in heavy development, and is not yet ready for production. But it could also be a sign that the day when Ubuntu does go live on the Nexus 7 is not on the immediate horizon.

It's also interesting that Canonical hasn't mentioned doing anything to showcase the success it has enjoyed recently deploying Ubuntu-powered desktop PCs in retail outlets in certain markets. To be sure, in most developed economies desktops and laptops with Ubuntu preinstalled will almost certainly never become anything more than a niche market. But the story is different in large parts of Asia and even some European countries. Perhaps Canonical does not believe that CeBIT would prove an effective venue for attracting attention to Ubuntu's potential on this front.

A single convention, of course, is hardly a complete crystal ball into Canonical's plans for the future. But for what it is worth, CeBIT is poised to highlight the company's work in the cloud and the enterprise, not some of its more-discussed--at least within the Linux community at large--endeavors for tablets and traditional Ubuntu desktops.