The biggest open source story of 2017 was unquestionably Canonical’s decision to stop developing its Unity desktop and move Ubuntu to the GNOME Shell desktop.
What made the story that much more entertaining was how well Canonical pulled off the transition. Ubuntu 17.10 was quite simply one of the best releases of the year and certainly the best release Ubuntu has put out in a good long time. Of course since 17.10 was not an LTS release, the more conservative users – which may well be the majority in Ubuntu’s case – still haven’t made the transition.
Meanwhile, the repercussions of Canonical’s move to GNOME are still being felt in the open source world and I believe this will continue to be one of the biggest stories in 2018 for several reasons. The first is that so many have yet to actually make the move to GNOME-based Ubuntu. That will change with 18.04, which is an LTS release set to arrive later this year. Users upgrading between LTS releases will get their first taste of Ubuntu with GNOME come April.
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