Earlier this week, Ubuntu announced that it would stop developing its Unity projects. At the same time, it also stated that it is giving up on creating a tablet or phone version of its open-source platform. The Unity decision came some 6 years after it was chosen as a default user interface for Ubuntu’s desktops.
Through this decision, Canonical seems to have given up its plan of offering a converged experience. This would have reportedly transformed phones into desktops following their docking with the appropriate equipment.
Ubuntu revealed this announcement through an official blog post. This was signed by Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’s and Canonical’s founder. In it, he stated that the company would be ending its support for the Unity8, “the phone and convergence shell.” According to the same post, the developers will be shifting the default Ubuntu desktop back to the GNOME. This transition will be applied starting in April 2018 and the shipment of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Ubuntu Is Giving Up On Its Unity And Convergence Projects
As it is, the platform seems to be returning to its early days, when this shipped with GNOME and not a Canonical-developed user interface. The company did not clearly state in its blog post that it will be ending phone and tablet support as well.
However, Michael Hall later confirmed this fact as well, following media requests. He is the Canonical Community Manager, and he also stated the following.
“Work on the phone and tablet is also ending, the whole convergence story, really.”
Unity 8, for example, was shipped with tablets and phones. However, it never reached a stable desktop version, not enough so as to become the default variant. Presently, this uses Unity 7. Canonical had already been working on a new desktop display server called Mir. However, reports state that work on the project had been going quite slow.
As it will be switching back to GNOME, Ubuntu will also give up on Mir. Instead, they will be moving to the Wayland display server. Allegedly, the platform has no choice on the matter. As it is, Canonical confirmed that it would not be ending desktop development.
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