In his latest blog post Mark Shuttleworth has said Ubuntu is stopping its investment in Unity desktop environment.
It was rather an unpopular decision among Linux enthusiasts that Ubuntu choose to develop Unity instead of GNOME 3. This alienated many Linux users and was the driving force of creation of many Ubuntu based spin offs like Linux Mint.
With Unity it’s also the dream of convergence is also axed. Convergence is the usage of same OS and interface for all form factors like desktop, mobile and tablets. Some test devices were made with Ubuntu Mobile, but there were too many bugs and too little selection of apps.
The Unity experiment has many parallels with Microsoft’s disastrous Windows 8 tile UI experiment. It alienated the users, tried to cram primarily a mobile first UI on a desktop. The fact is iOS and Android has become so mature with great ecosystems, it’s too difficult for a new OS gain attention from developers, manufacturers or general public.
Hopefully this introduction of GNOME 3 desktop will bring back many of those users who left Ubuntu frustrated with Unity, making the community even stronger. And Canonical can focus their resources developing and refining new features than just reinventing the wheel.
From Ubuntu 18.04 Unity will be replaced with GNOME 3. Ubuntu already has an official spin with GNOME 3 desktop if you’re interested.