Ubuntu gives up on its Convergence: In the recent years, Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution has spent a lot of work and time on Convergence for smartphones. Now, they have decided to stop it. Yes, Convergence is dead. Along with this, Ubuntu is also dumping the Mir display server letting Wayland replace it. There will be no Unity software anywhere starting from the laptops to the smartphones.
Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu announced that they are giving up on Unity. The Unity user interface of Linux was a big dream which goes unfulfilled. They are streaming their investments on GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on the desktop. He wrote, “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”.
Ubuntu is a very user-friendly desktop operating system and is a very successful one. It is like a cake walk to the users. This success of Ubuntu next led it to try its hands-on smartphones and tablets. Not to mention, the try has been an apparent failure and has been eventually shut down. The smartphone versions were introduced in 2013 and reached the customers in 2015. There is no more light on that anymore.
Next year there is an Ubuntu 18.04 release scheduled, and from there the focus is being led into the GNOME desktops.
Mark Shuttleworth said, “The cloud and IoT story for Ubuntu is excellent and continues to improve. You all probably know that most public cloud workloads, and most private Linux cloud infrastructures, depend on Ubuntu. You might also know that most of the IoT work in auto, robotics, networking, and machine learning is also on Ubuntu, with Canonical providing commercial services on many of those initiatives. 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.”
The Open source community leader Jono Bacon quoted that this is a terrible decision from the makers, but is the right one. A new start is always at risk, but this effort of canonical was always appreciated. Many other open source community members have also welcomed the new decision of Ubuntu with warmth. On the whole, there are views that Unity was a not good enough to compete with the other famous Operating Systems. Users were much attracted to the low-cost Android devices.
There are also people who mourn the loss of Ubuntu. An Ubuntu user mentioned that he always relied on Unity. It was like a trusty friend, and its absence will be noted. Still, when compared to Unity, GNOME has gained more reliability over the years, and the fact that Canonical is diverting the investments from Unity to GNOME is a sigh of relief.