While Ubuntu is not my personal cup of tea and as such I have no interest in actually using it I am thankful for it's existance as it has indeed improved Linux desktop share and has become the closest thing to a 'Linux for the mainstream' solution.
Also barring the existance of a 'linux powered steam-box project' I'd wager a company like Valve would never had targeted Linux for Steam if it haven't been for a mainstream desktop end-user oriented distro like Ubuntu, no matter if Microsoft was threatening to eat their lunch or not.
Of course the downside with an emerging 'standard' desktop distro is that it can cause incompabilities when software is targeted directly at a specific distro, particularly if that distro developes 'non-standard' subsystems which are hard to support elsewhere unless you are willing to 'buy the whole farm'. The latter is certainly a risk as it seems Ubuntu is trying hard to have developers target their distro specifically rather than Linux distros in general.
Overall though I think Ubuntu has had a great positive effect on Linux on the desktop, and also that if they start overstepping boundaries there will be an appropriate reaction (like with the amazon search 'feature'). When all is said and done, vendor lock-in isn't really an option when it comes to open source systems.
I can see what Canonical are trying to do. But at this point in time their main flavoured desktop runs like a piece of crap. The six-month release cycle really isn't helping them much at all. Glad I changed distros when I did.
Through improving the publicly available Ubuntu Linux documentation and reaching out to new developers -- along with existing Windows developers that may now be thinking of targeting Ubuntu as their next supported platform -- the Linux OS hopes to increase its developer and application count...
False. They contribute packaging fixes back to Debian. David Henningsson contribute a lot to the audio stack since Ubuntu has a large sample size and every HDA device needs its own hacks. I could go on, but I'm not going to waste more time on this "they don't contribute upstream" idea, since you'll probably just keep repeating it anyway.
my comment: Debian is the biggest distro out there but they don't get much credit as long as people know only its derivatives like ubuntu and mint. Is this bad, prolly because if they ask for funds(sources like E.U. or U.S.) they might get a reply "you know, you are not that famous, we will give you less than last year". if the host dies then the leech will go find blood from someone else.
I don't know about the US, but in the EU you don't need to be famous to get funding. What you do need is a good plan and someone who knows how to file all the paperwork they require—that's what the PyPy project did, and they certainly weren't famous back then (whatever code they had was unusable from a practical PoV at the moment they asked for EU funding).
"Ubuntu Tries To Attract New Developers"
And yet they don't contribute upstream.
That's nonsense, and either you know that and you are lying to harm Canonical/Ubuntu on purpose, or you don't know what is really happening and then you should shut up until after you did investigate yourself.
As someone said earlier: Red Hat is certainly contributing more code (now), and Canonical could maybe do more contributing code (and making it easier for others to contribute to their code...), but that doesn't mean Canonical doesn't contribute anything at all.
Yes. Yes they have. Just because they don't commit as much as Red Hat doesn't mean they're not contributing. If nothing else, look at what they've done to popularize Linux on the desktop. If that's not a contribution, I don't understand English.
Do it exist stats on this? I don't get the impression Desktop Linux has a bigger market share than ten years ago?