Alpha 3 of Ubuntu 11.10 comes out next week, meaning developers are currently trying to get everything primed in advance.
As for what’s happening with the Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) stayed on GNOME 2.32 because the GNOME3 schedule was too short to integrate the new version correctly in the release, but the GNOME3 team did a great job on getting GNOME3 in a PPA.
For Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot we landed GNOME3 early, made sure it worked, then jumped to GNOME 3.1 to track the unstable series.
Thanks to the work in GNOME3 team PPA the first round of updates went smoothly and we landed GNOME3 around the UDS time. We switched to GNOME 3.1 after UDS, starting by the platform pieces and then the desktop ones. GNOME 3.1.4 tarballs were due this week and thanks to the rocking Desktop team contributors it’s mostly in Oneiric already.
Feature Freeze is now two weeks away, the point at which the majority of work on new and improved desktop features should have landed.