Home Mobility Canonical declares Ubuntu phone is dead

Canonical declares Ubuntu phone is dead

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced that the company will be stopping the development of its phones and tablets, and reverting back to the GNOME desktop for its Linux distribution.

The company's bottomline seems to be the obvious reason for Shuttleworth's decision, though he claimed that the move came at the end of what he described as "an excellent quarter and an excellent year for the company, with performance in many teams and products that we can be proud of".

But his very next lines were: "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."

Last year, Canonical had released an over-the-air update for the phone which made it possible to project its interface onto a big screen using a Wi-Fi dongle that supports the Miracast protocol.

Shuttleworth admitted that he had been wrong about the possibility of delivering a convergent desktop using free software.

"I took the view that, if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software, that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers. I was wrong on both counts."

Shuttleworth also said the company was stopping development of its Unity desktop and reverting back to GNOME with the next Ubuntu release which is slated for October.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.