Ubuntu 17.04 review: Don’t call it abandonware, per seEnlarge / Finally made it to the end of the alphabet with…. Zesty Zapus. We had to use this German children’s book (Bilderbuch fur Kinder) to learn about this “meadow jumping mouse” (bottom right). (credit: Florilegius/SSPL/Getty Images)
Last month, it finally happened.
Six years after its tumultuous switch from GNOME 2 to the homegrown Unity desktop, Canonical announced it was abandoning work on Unity.

Going forward, the company will switch the default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME beginning with next year’s 18.04 LTS release.

This means Canonical is also abandoning the development of the Mir display server and its unified interface of Ubuntu for phones and tablets.

The company’s vision of “convergence,” as Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth termed it, has officially died.
Shuttleworth posted that news just a few days before Ubuntu 17.04 arrived, which took a considerable amount of wind out of the sails for this update to Canonical’s flagship Unity-based Linux desktop.

To be fair, however, the last few Ubuntu desktop releases haven’t had much wind in their sails to start with.

There have been a few feature updates and some work on bringing in more up-to-date GNOME and GTK elements, but by and large they’ve been maintenance releases.
While Ubuntu 17.04 offers a few new features, bug fixes, and improvements over its predecessor, it qualifies as a significant release because it will likely be the last version of Unity that Canonical ships.

Technically Ubuntu 17.10 will come later this year, but it seems unlikely the company is going to put much effort into developing a desktop it is abandoning.
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