Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, has decided to close the doors on Unity and Mir development. Unity was introduced in Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition. The interface was designed to make more efficient use of the netbook screen real estate. As time progressed, the interface moved to Smart TVs and mobile devices.
While Ubuntu TV has been dead in the water for awhile now, covergence for tablet/mobile and desktop PCs has remained in development until now.
In a blog poast, Shuttleworth explained the reasoning for ceasing development.
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.
In the community, our efforts were seen fragmentation not innovation. And industry has not rallied to the possibility, instead taking a ‘better the devil you know’ approach to those form factors, or investing in home-grown platforms. What the Unity8 team has delivered so far is beautiful, usable and solid, but I respect that markets, and community, ultimately decide which products grow and which disappear.
More can be read here.
While it’s good news they’re ceasing development, I feel they should have stopped a long time ago. Apple and Google control most of the mobile market. It didn’t make sense to have another OS. Even Firefox stopped development Firefox OS.
The majority of people either don’t care, or haven’t heard of these operating systems.
I’m glad they’re switching back to GNOME.
I wonder if they’ll customize it to the point of being unrecognizable from the vanilla GNOME 3 setup?
I guess we’ll see when Ubuntu 18.04 hits.
How do you feel about the move to cease development?
Let me know in the comments below.