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."
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.