As the title of this article says, Canonical has decided to pull the funding for Kubuntu - the KDE sister distribution of Ubuntu. This news was announced by Jonathan Ridell, the lead and only paid developer of Kubuntu.
This is what Riddell wrote announcing the news:
Today I bring the disappointing news that Canonical will no longer be funding my work on Kubuntu after 12.04. Canonical wants to treat Kubuntu in the same way as the other community flavors such as Edubuntu, Lubuntu, and Xubuntu, and support the projects with infrastructure.
As someone who was first exposed to KDE through Kubuntu, this is a sad news. However, Canonical's decision to stop funding Kubuntu did not come out of the blue.
In its seven years of existence, Kubuntu has not seem the kind of success that they had hoped for. Kubuntu is not the best KDE distro around and many KDE fans use advises others to avoid Kubuntu. On the other hand, users who want the Ubuntu base but with a different DE generally choose Xubuntu, which is considered more stable, over Kubuntu.
Moreover, Canonical is now betting heavily on Unity. They pushing for Unity on everything from mobile phones and tablets to TVs. So, there is no place for Kubuntu in Canonical's scheme of things.
This is a rational business decision, Kubuntu has not been a business success after 7 years of trying, and it is unrealistic to expect it to continue to have financial resources put into it.
So, now with the funding from Canonical gone, it is entirely upto the community to keep Kubuntu going. There is no reason why that cannot happen - others like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu are developed entirely by the community.
Another ramification of this decision by Canonical is that Kubuntu 12.04 will be the last Kubuntu release for which users can get paid support.
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