For the next long-term support (LTS) build, Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical is moving back to the GNOME desktop. For the last several versions of the operating system, they have put their home-grown Unity desktop at the forefront. The official blog post also announces that Canonical “will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell” to focus on desktop, cloud, and internet of things.
As always with open-source software, it’s possible that someone could take the project and keep it going, but I doubt that this will happen (outside of the hobbyist and archivist circles). The general consensus, from what I’ve seen, could be summarized as: “Finally!”
I haven’t heard any discussion over what this means for Canonical’s engineering team. I hope that this will just lead to reassignments, rather than lay-offs.
Also, this has nothing to do with the Unity game engine. That's a very different company and a very different product. I just thought I'd make that clear in case it comes up.