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which I really loved. I think the engineering of Unity 8 was pretty spectacularly good

Time:2017-10-25 13:24Shoes websites Click:

Drop Ubuntu Unity

Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Shuttleworth, found of Ubuntu

Ubuntu’s decision to ditch Unity took all of us — even me — by surprise when announced back in April.

Now Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth shares more details about why Ubuntu chose to drop Unity.

And the answer might surprise…

Actually, no; the answer probably won’t surprise you.

Like, at all.

Why Did Ubuntu Drop Unity?

Last week saw the release of Ubuntu 17.10, the first release of Ubuntu to ship without the Unity desktop since it was introduced back in 2011.

‘We couldn’t have on our books very substantial projects which have no commercial angle to them’

Naturally the mainstream press is curious about where Unity has gone. And so Mark Shuttleworth has spoke to eWeek to detail his decision to jettison Unity from the Ubuntu roadmap.

The tl;dr he ejected Unity as part of a cost-saving pivot designed to put Canonical on the path toward an initial public offering (known as an “IPO”).

Yup: investors are coming.

But the full interview provides more context on the decision, and reveals just how difficult it was to let go of the desktop he helped nurture.

“Ubuntu Has Moved In To The Mainstream”

Mark Shuttleworth, speaking to Sean Michael Kerner, starts by reminding us all how great Ubuntu is:

“The beautiful thing about Ubuntu is that we created the possibility of a platform that is free of charge to its end users, with commercial services around it, in the dream that that might define the future in all sorts of different ways,” 

“We really have seen that Ubuntu has moved in to the mainstream in a bunch of areas.”

‘We created a platform that is free of charge to its end users, with commercial services around it’

But being popular isn’t the same as being profitable, as Mark notes:

“Some of the things that we were doing were clearly never going to be commercially sustainable, other things clearly will be commercially sustainable, or already are commercially sustainable. 

“As long as we stay a purely private company we have complete discretion whether we carry things that are not commercially sustainable.”

Shuttleworth says he, along with the other ‘leads’ at Canonical, came to a consensual view that they should put the company on the path to becoming a public company.

‘In the last 7 years Ubuntu itself became completely sustainable’

And to appear attractive to potential investors the company has to focus on its areas of profitability — something Unity, Ubuntu phone, Unity 8 and convergence were not part of:

“[The decision] meant that we couldn’t have on our books (effectively) very substantial projects which clearly have no commercial angle to them at all.

It doesn’t mean that we would consider changing the terms of Ubuntu for example, because it’s foundational to everything we do. And we don’t have to, effectively.”

‘I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and Ubuntu could continue’

‘Ubuntu itself is now completely sustainable’

Money may have meant Unity’s demise but the wider Ubuntu project is in rude health. as Shuttleworth explains:

“One of the things I’m most proud of is in the last 7 years is that Ubuntu itself became completely sustainable. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and Ubuntu could continue.

It’s kind of magical, right? Here’s a platform that is a world class enterprise platform, that’s completely freely available, and yet it is sustainable.

Jane Silber is largely to thank for that.”

While it’s all-too-easy for desktop users to focus on, well, the desktop, there is far more to Canonical (the company) than the 6-monthly releases we look forward to.

Losing Unity may have been a big blow for desktop users but it helped to balance other parts of the company:

“There are huge possibilities for us in the enterprise beyond that, in terms of really defining how cloud infrastructure is built, how cloud applications are operated, and so on. And, in IoT, looking at that next wave of possibility, innovators creating stuff on IoT.

And all of that is ample for us to essentially put ourselves on course to IPO around that.”

Dropping Unity wasn’t easy for Mark, though:

“We had this big chunk of work, which was Unity, which I really loved.

I think the engineering of Unity 8 was pretty spectacularly good, and the deep ideas of how you bring these different form factors together was pretty beautiful.

“I couldn’t make an argument for [Unity] to sit on Canonical’s books any longer”

“But I couldn’t make an argument for that to sit on Canonical’s books any longer, if we were gonna go on a path to an IPO.”

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