Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Ubuntu Linux was started in 2004 by Mark Shuttleworth: an entrepreneur that made his fortunes [to the tune of 600 million US] by selling his company Thawte to VeriSign; and is famous for having purchased a flight to the IIS [International Space Station, not the web server] via one of the Russian Soyuz missions.
Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that primarily focuses on the average end-user. According to distrowatch.com, Ubuntu has held the number 1 spot for several years as the most popular Linux distribution. It receives media attention often, and has an ever-growing community base.
And even at this point in time, with the top Linux distribution, the future is very uncertain. Users are simply not converting to paid customers... And why would they? The product is always free with the GPL. And the support is optional.