Jonathan Riddell, lead developer for the Kubuntu project and the only guy employed by Canonical to work on the KDE variant of the popular distribution, has announced that after the 12.04 release, Canonical will no longer pay him for developing  KDE variant of Ubuntu, putting Kubuntu on the same level as other Ubuntu variants like Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu etc. which are already community driven projects.

Riddell will continue to be employed by Canonical, but working on Kubuntu will be confined to his free time. In order for the Kubuntu project to continue operating, Riddell says that community members will have to take a more active role in doing unpopular tasks such as ISO testing.

According to Riddell

"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."
Although this will not going to be a disappointing news for the guys at KDE and the users who prefer KDE over other desktop environments since there are enough other KDE-centric distributions around, and we cannot blame Canonical for not wanting to invest in a project which worth nothing financially.

Kubuntu users who want to join the development effort and participate in testing and maintaining the distribution can learn more about how to get involved at the project's website.