Max Spevack is the Fedora Project leader for Linux distributor Red Hat, and he has some observations to make about recent surveys by Lenovo and Dell. The PC makers this year have each asked web site visitors which flavor of Linux they would like to see supported on a branded PC, and Ubuntu has been a runaway winner each time. (Here is Lenovo's survey, which has unfolded over the last week or so.)
Spevack writes in painstaking detail about Red Hat's mission with Linux, Fedora's place in that mission and how it compares to other Linux distros, including Ubuntu -- which people can get for free on CD from Canonical's ShipIt service. He also fires away with this:
My entire point with the statistics angle is one of transparency, not one of result. I would love to see how much money Canonical has spent on ShipIt. I would love to see their claims of how many million users they have backed up by some real data, with a disclaimer (like ours) of where the potential fudge factors are. I would find it incredibly interesting to see how much money Canonical spends on Ubuntu every year, and compare that to how much money Red Hat spends on Fedora. It would be interesting to be able to calculate some sort of "cost per user" metric, if you will.
The suggestion being, it seems, that Ubuntu's distro buys its friends like a kid on the playground with a lot of candy.