Mark Shuttleworth addressed his fans at the Ubuntu Open Week last week, and gave a sneaky peek into what we can expect from Ubuntu in the coming months.

The development of the next OS was the hottest topic.

Jaunty Jackalope will replace Intrepid Ibex, and although Shuttleworth revealed that we can expect something very different from the new OS, he kept his cards close to his chest.

"We have been hiring, for months, designers and user experience guys. It has taken much longer than I hoped. That team will be in place in Jan/Feb, I imagine", he said.

"Whether their initial work will make a dramatic visual impact on Jaunty, I don't know. I know that other work, on the user experience front, will land, but i'll keep some surprises in store till later."

According to Ars Technica, the developers will meet next month in Mountain View for the Ubuntu Developer Summit, where the roadmap for the next release will be formulated.

But Shuttleworth also touched on Canonical's relationship with Dell as well as the impact Ubuntu could have on mobile phones.

Dell has started selling some of its machines with Ubuntu pre-installed, and Shuttleworth says that "the machines are selling well".

"[Dell] clearly sees Linux users as thought leaders", he told Open Week attendees. "They know it takes a lot of work to do something like Linux well and they work very hard at it, so we appreciate the partnership."

As for mobiles, he quipped: "Linux is a perfect platform for consumer electronics, and the rate of adoption there is fantastic, but it's highly fragmented. There are many different projects, environments and frameworks for Linux on smartphones", he said.

"We have partnered with Moblin from Intel because we think they are committed to a great user experience and open processes and governance. Intel has really set the pace with hardware enablement in free software. They invest a lot in it, and they invest it well - they work like an open source project to a much greater extent than any other manufacturer", he continued.

Shuttleworth added that the next major version of the Moblin platform could bring some interesting developments from Canonical so watch this space.