The Ultimate Question
About This Episode
-- Show Notes: --
-- The Cliff Notes --
Six years after making Unity the default user interface on Ubuntu desktops, Canonical is giving up on the project and will switch the default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME next year. Canonical is also ending development of Ubuntu software for phones and tablets, spelling doom for the goal of creating a converged experience with phones acting as desktops when docked with the right equipment.
On Wednesday, we reported that Ubuntu is killing off its never-delivered Unity 8 technology and switching back to GNOME for its desktop user interface. Today, The Reg has learned that Canonical has axed more than half the team who worked on Unity – which was an effort to build a single Ubuntu UI spanning phones, tablets, PCs and other devices.
Those Unity staffers who couldn't be found suitable jobs elsewhere in the open-source shop are being let go. Jobs are also going in other parts of the organization. The cuts came after Canonical founder and millionaire Mark Shuttleworth's decision to seek potential outside investors. These investors determined that Canonical was overstaffed and some projects lacked focus.
I'm now told directly by a confidant that Jane Silber is likely stepping down with Mark Shuttleworth taking over as CEO. Mark had been CEO of Canonical from 2004 to 2010 until Jane Silber took over as CEO. Mark had originally stepped down from being the CEO to focus on product design, partnerships, customers, and other areas. Silber had been with Canonical since 2004 where she was serving in other roles, including as COO.
“Open sourcing was always part of our initial plan and it took some time to reach this stage. We decided to take the open source path because transparency and community engagement is of utmost importance for any product that has security at its core.”
The team is now taking the next step to also open source the Wire server code. Wire app client code, encryption protocol and end-to-end encrypted integrations API are already available on GitHub.
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