Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and Canonical in a blog post has stated that work on Unity8, the phone, and desktop convergence shell built on top of Ubuntu will be coming to an end:

“As we head into the new fiscal year, it’s appropriate to reassess each of our initiatives. I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS,”

Canonical will also revert to GNOME for the upcoming 18.04 LTS release scrapping almost of six years of work in the process.

Although he didn’t officially state that work on phone and tablet environments are also ending, in an interview with Ars Technica , community manager Michael Hall had this to say:

"Work on the phone and tablet is also ending, the whole convergence story, really, the desktop will continue, but like it was in the pre-Unity days where we took what upstream [developers] designed and developed."

In the blog, Shuttleworth also shared his reasons for ending the project:

“In the community, our efforts were seen fragmentation, not innovation. And industry has not rallied to the possibility, instead taking a ‘better the devil you know’ approach to those form factors, or investing in home-grown platforms. What the Unity8 team has delivered so far is beautiful, usable and solid, but I respect that markets, and community, ultimately decide which products grow and which disappear,”

Not all is gloom and doom though, as noted in the blog, Ubuntu has matured as a cloud and IoT platform:

“The cloud and IoT story for Ubuntu is excellent and continues to improve. You all probably know that most public cloud workloads, and most private Linux cloud infrastructures, depend on Ubuntu. You might also know that most of the IoT work in auto, robotics, networking, and machine learning is also on Ubuntu, with Canonical providing commercial services on many of those initiatives. The number and size of commercial engagements around Ubuntu on cloud and IoT has grown materially and consistently,”

For the full post, click here .