Well of course it lives on! When Canonical cut the proverbial cord, it simply meant that Jonathon Riddell and the Kubuntu community would have to continue outside of business hours. Regardless of the time Riddell spent at Canonical, the community has still been able to carry to the torch.
Kubuntu is now official supported by Blue Systems, maintainers of Netrunner KDE-based GNU-Linux distribution. From the announcement:
Kubuntu will have a new sponsor in Blue Systems from the 12.10 cycle starting in May. Kubuntu is a community led project to create a KDE flavour as part of Ubuntu. Our sponsor since it started has been Canonical who are now moving to focus on their Unity flavour. We would like to thank Canonical for this kind support and wish the best success for the Unity flavour (also called Ubuntu).
Blue Systems sponsors a number of KDE projects and will encourage Kubuntu to follow the same successful formula as it has always had – community led, KDE focused, Ubuntu flavour.
This should finally lay to rest the claims that Kubuntu is finished, and honestly it shouldn’t even take financial backing to prove it! It’s all about the Kubuntu Commitment. Shortly after Canonical stopped funding Kubuntu development, Jonathon Riddell and the Kubuntu team were able to release a backported KDE 4.8.1 to the official Kubuntu PPA on day one.
Blue Systems has a long history of supporting KDE related projects, and even publishes a KDE based blog called Netrunner Magazine.
We’re sure that Kubuntu will only get better with time. Our only hope is that the project remains community focused and sticks close to the stock KDE experience. Of course pretty fonts by default and a nice set of icons are always welcome.