It has been seven years since the official derivative of the popular Linux Ubuntu distribution, Kubuntu, was created and now Canonical has officially pulled the plug on funding for the project.
Kubuntu is based on the Ubuntu Linux distribution, however features the KDE desktop system, which currently has a closer resemblance to Windows Aero and features a different web-browser and e-mail application as its default offering.
"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. This is a big challenge to Kubuntu of course and KDE as well." stated Kubuntu developer, Jonathan Riddell, "The practical changes are I won't be able to work on KDE bits in my work time after 12.04 and there won't be paid support for versions after 12.04. 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."
Jonathan is now looking to the community to take the reins on much of the project. We will soon discover if there is enough support to keep Kubuntu alive without dedicated funding; there are certainly many similar KDE offerings already out there with thriving communities and support packages, though we suspect in typical Linux spirit, what harm could one more distribution cause?