What was the official reason by Canonical to axed the project when it was love by some many of their users and innovative?
Didn't you read the announcement post penned by Mark Shuttleworth at all? Selected quotes:
I took the view that, if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software, that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers. I was wrong on both counts.
The cloud and IoT story for Ubuntu is excellent and continues to improve. You all probably know that most public cloud workloads, and most private Linux cloud infrastructures, depend on Ubuntu. You might also know that most of the IoT work in auto, robotics, networking, and machine learning is also on Ubuntu, with Canonical providing commercial services on many of those initiatives. The number and size of commercial engagements around Ubuntu on cloud and IoT has grown materially and consistently.
The choice, ultimately, is to invest in the areas which are contributing to the growth of the company. Those are Ubuntu itself, for desktops, servers and VMs, our cloud infrastructure products (OpenStack and Kubernetes) our cloud operations capabilities (MAAS, LXD, Juju, BootStack), and our IoT story in snaps and Ubuntu Core. All of those have communities, customers, revenue and growth, the ingredients for a great and independent company, with scale and momentum.
Plain English: no money in Unity.
Unity will be supported until Ubuntu 16.04 EOL (End of Life) which is April 2021 I believe.
Additionally, with interest by users such as yourself, a "fork" of Unity will be made (perhaps more than one) supported by a third party.
I expect that some of the looks and features of Unity that people have come to know and love will be ported over to the Gnome Desktop Environment (DE) which Ubuntu 18.04 will be based on. Two things to remember are:
- Don't worry as Unity EOL is a long way off.
- Developers listen to users like yourself and what you request.
This article explicitly quotes reasons for Ubuntu dropping Unity down the road:
"If we are going to take outside money and go public, how efficient do we need to be?" Shuttleworth said. "In a very cold commercial sense, we have to bring those numbers into line and that leads to headcount changes. One of those pieces I could not bring into line was Unity. We can't go through that market process and ask for outside investor money when there's something that big that doesn't have a revenue story. That's the pinch we got into."
Translation: Unity costs a lot of money but doesn't earn revenue. Gnome DE is Free. Investors will like the change.