The problem is that on other distros this will soon be an issue, one cannot plave the full blame on Ubuntu for AMD falling behind and dropping the ball
Well, hopefully non-Ubuntu based distros won't follow the same downwards path.
Plus many of the computers on retail shelves and online were designed & produced months, if not a year ago. Not much AMD (nor any OEM) can do about that. They have included the recent Vulcan run time libraries with their latest drivers, so are making progress. Only problem is, there's no kernel to fall back on, because Ubuntu 16.04 is likely using the latest.
Not everyone can afford Intel hardware, or there are those who has a mixture of machines.
So the only way to run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on a new computer at this time is to buy Intel. Not good for Linux growth, which I've been questioning for at least 3 years, seems either through their forums where arrogance is the daily bread, many users are having more & more installation issues, when not long back, one could pull any old computer from the curbside (or sticking out of the top of trash can) & install most any Linux version, would run fine.
I could had understood it had Ubuntu totally dropped 32 bit altogether, because the numbers online are dropping with every stat count (& not just Linux), it costs cash & resources, some working for little to no pay to keep these up to date. What I don't understand is why drop a major series of GPU's still awaiting customers on retail shelves.
What ball did AMD drop? They announced their next huge gen GPU before nVidia, only the latter is shipping first, I guess less talk & more action with the GeForce 1080/1070 models, the first pre-orders selling out in under 4 hours & will be the holidays before access to everyone who wants either, even the lower rated model in the 1070 will slap any current card around (or so they say). How they kept it a secret throughout design & production was a feat within itself, nVidia must have a great salary & benefits package, no one seen this coming before the announcement. Though AMD had already released one & of course it was expected for nVidia to counter attack, turns out, it's going to be the other way around, and obviously Moore's Law is still relevant in the GPU industry. The only thing that can hold them back is RAM technology coming to a crawl. which won't be happening any time soon.
Had this been Intel, no one would had said a word about 'dropping balls', and Canonical would had delayed release, or worked hard with Intel devs to come up with a solution.
The only other hardware that's peaked are SATA-3 SSD's, other than a tweak here & there, the speed will not improve by much, has been superseded my MB's with M.2 & PCIe type of SSD's, there's going to be no SATA-4. I had read an article somewhere several month back that the ones who came up with the standard on MB's (regular SATA fittings) had a meeting, but nothing became of it. Even some notebook OEM's has got in on the faster action with PCIe M.2 SSD's, so the future for traditional 2.5" models are becoming dimmer (& boring for me). I have a hunch after purchasing my first one of these SSD's, an upgraded MB will fall into my XPS 8700 & PCIe M.2 will follow.
Once the smoke has cleared, these Linux OS's will be supporting AMD again, wouldn't in the least be surprised if the Linux Mint team pulls a cat out of the bag to make it happen. If so, that again will tick Ubuntu users off (at Canonical), just like the 11.04 release which included Unity w/out posting the two or three lines of Terminal code to remove all & keep the traditional version. In huge part, what made Ubuntu MATE a success out of the box, it wasn't Unity that made Ubuntu popular, as it already was. It was Ubuntu's easy to use interface, including an easy to use Start Menu, that attracted many to the distro. Anyone who could boot a computer could run Ubuntu as is before Unity, and w/out typing 3 or 4 letters of least used apps to pull these up. It was the basics that made Ubuntu a household name among Linux users, long before Unity was dreamed of.
Oh, and back then the distro was #1 also. Many tends to forget this, or chooses to, or never ran Ubuntu before Unity was released.
On the bright side, affected users doesn't have to upgrade, nor purchase new hardware. 12.04 is still supported until early next year, and 14.04 until early 2019, so there's no need to panic.
AMD & Canonical will work together to figure this out, there's no other choice. By not supporting the brand, will cost in usershare. Especially new Linux users on new computers, if Ubuntu doesn't work, then most (rightfully) will never give the the OS a second chance.