Canonical is prepared to release Ubuntu 13.10 and Ubuntu Touch on Oct. 17. The big question: Can the new PC, smartphone and tablet offerings -- built on Linux -- attract hardware makers and channel partners? Hmmm...

No doubt, Ubuntu maintains a strong following among Linux advocates. Canonical, like clockwork, delivers a new Ubuntu release every six months. Ubuntu 13.10's feature list has not blown away The VAR Guy.

But perhaps PC makers are impressed. Our resident blogger is checking to see if Ubuntu PC providers like System76 and ZaReason will embrace and promote the new operating system upon launch.

The bigger questions likely surround Ubuntu Touch. This is the operating system that Canonical planned to use for its own smartphone/PC project -- called Ubuntu Edge. But Edge died when Canonical's crowdsourcing effort didn't meet expecations.

So who exactly will build Ubuntu Touch smartphones? That's difficult to say. Canonical has been building a Carrier Advisory Group to help drum up interest in Ubuntu smartphones. But competing in that market won't be easy. Just ask BlackBerry (BBRY), which just announced a massive financial loss and more layoffs

Memo to Canonical: If you're set to rally channel partners around Ubuntu 13.10 and Ubuntu Touch, The VAR Guy is ready and willing to hear about the strategy...