There are certainly some Linux distributions taking a similar direction.
Ubuntu's next release (11.10) is dropping the venerable vanilla Gnome desktop and putting in the Unity desktop (which is actually a compiz plugin). Very much more suited to touch-screen usage, with a large left-hand launcher bar and disposes with the Application menu in favour of "lenses" - more reasonably described as search windows to find apps. It was available as an option in 10.10 and 11.04 alongside Gnome 2.
And I believe Fedora and OpenSUSE are heading in the direction of Gnome Shell running on Gnome 3 which will give a similar kind of interface to Unity.
As always in the Linux world there will still be plenty of other distributions available that stick to more traditional desktop environments. Just looking at official Ubuntu distributions for example: Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (XFCE), Lubuntu (LXDE). And that's just one tiny corner of the Linux distro world. There's always choice