Cinnamon desktop, a fork of Gnome 3 developed by Linux Mint team, is going to have some huge changes for its 1.6 release. As a picture posted in their blog, this release is going to have keyboard navigation, configurable panel heights, notification applet etc.
The team says:
"As you can see in the preview card above, Cinnamon 1.6 is going to be a massive step forward. The codebase is now much smaller and much cleaner, a huge number of bugs have been fixed, most of the things people asked after 1.4 was released were implemented and we added some really cool and innovative features."
There is currently no deadline as Cinnamon development doesn't follow a release cycle. The desktop is currently in 1.5.3 version and interested people can download the sources from Github and compile it on their machines.
So maybe one can expect the next Linux Mint release to have a more cleaner Cinnamon desktop.