Jonathan Riddel has announced 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."
He wrote that he won't be able to work on KDE bits in his work time after 12.04 and there won't be paid support for versions after 12.04.
This may surprise many as Canonical recently announced LTS support for Kubuntu. The move is even more surprising as KDE 4.x has fully matured and offers great experience in all device segments. The KDE for desktop is optimized for mouse-keyboard users, KDE netbook is optimized for small screen netbooks and KDE Active Plasma is optimized for tablets.
Does that leave Kubuntu users high and dry? No. I learned that Kubuntu will continue to be maintained by the community so things may not change that much.
Kubuntu Needs Your Support
Kubuntu users can now help the team in the new challenges that have emerged after this announcement. One such challenge as Jonathan points out is, ..."we need people to step up and take the initiative in doing the tasks that are often poorly supported by the community process. ISO testing, for example, is a long, slow, thankless task, and it is hard to get volunteers for it. We can look at ways of reducing effort from what we do such as scrapping the alternate CD or automating KDE SC packaging."
He further wrote, "I expect to do other desktop team tasks in my work time such as Qt. I can't do much free software work in my spare time for now because of my poor health (slowly recovering I'm pleased to say)."
Fortunately, in the GNU/Linux world, there is no lack of options. The Linux Mint team still maintains an active version of KDE. The team just announced Linux Mint KDE 12 yesterday. Then there is openSUSE KDE, which is known for one of the greatest integration for KDE.