The future is looking bright for the Ubuntu desktop with news that Canonical has installed a new desktop director.

Will Cooke, who held the role of Ubuntu desktop director/manager since 2014, announced he left the company on Twitter, and used the opportunity to confirm Martin Wimpress as his successor:

Martin Wimpress is a name that should be familiar to many of you due to his efforts within the open source and Linux communities.

This includes his leadership of the Ubuntu MATE flavour; his work as a Snapcraft engineer; development on the MATE desktop; involvement in open source events and conferences around the country; and his many podcast activities, including being velvet voiced co-anchor of the Ubuntu UK podcast.

So while Will Cooke has made some seriously sizeable shoes vacant at Canonical, Martin Wimpress is perhaps better placed than most to slip in and fill ’em.

New Ubuntu Desktop Director

Martin Wimpress is available as a sticker pack

Now, I might be biased (hey: look at the name of the site) but the Ubuntu desktop is in really good shape right now, with Ubuntu 19.10 being an exceptionally epic release.

And the card on the bouquet of “thanks” for that? Well, it’s addressed to Will Cooke.

Putting aside his work during the Unity years — sob — it’s important to stress that there were no guarantees Ubuntu would soar, much less stay afloat, after the Unity project was sunk.

So to see the distro build out each successive release with more finesse, more features, and, bluntly, more freakin’ cool stuff to me to blog about is a real credit to Will’s stewardship and vision for it.

Not that this “will” surprise many; Cooke’s energy and enthusiasm during his involvement with Ubuntu has always been positive, infectious and encouraging, as our interview with him during the Ubuntu TV era shows.

But Ubuntu, like open source in general, is all about progress. I’m sad to see Will go, but I’ve no doubt that Martin Wimpress has the skill and verve needed to step up and push things even further.

Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa? More like Ubuntu 20.04 Fantastic Future.

Canonical martin wimpress willcooke