An interesting thing is that Unity is also trying to be a tablet-friendly interface. Using the keyboard on a tablet is rather cumbersome. HUD looks like a partly desktop-optimized, partly tablet-optimized interface that sits awkwardly in-between.
I'm curious why Canonical thinks it's a good idea to train users to rely on the keyboard to find things. (Ever tried to find a program in Dash?) Despite the rise of the "search" paradigm, keyboard shortcuts, and typing in general, have always been the domain of experienced users and programmers. Ordinary users tend to rely much more on the mouse; they type only when absolutely necessary. In fact, unless the new interface gives them plenty of hints, they'll probably no idea what to type. Wasn't Ubuntu trying to make things easier for ordinary users, even at the expense of power users? Or does the benefit outweigh the potential disadvantages in this case?