Thursday, 06 April 2017 07:16

Canonical declares Ubuntu phone is dead Featured

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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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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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