The Cost of Ubuntu
Can Ubuntu Linux ever pay for itself? The conventional wisdom is that it can't, because no distribution has done so in the past. However, that doesn't stop Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial arm, from trying hard. At the very least, Canonical is trying to defray as much of the cost as possible.
Canonical is not a publicly traded company and does not release any financial figures. The company is quick to announce distribution deals, but the value of those deals are noticeably absent from many of its news releases. Ask its public relations directly for such information, and you are told that it is "confidential." Nor is this lack of information surprising, since, from a traditional business perspective, Canonical has nothing to gain from transparency.
Under these conditions, all answers to such questions must remain speculative.
Also: Why Cadence Is Canon at Canonical
Canonical's rigidly regular release schedule has been the subject of calls for change, but Mark Shuttleworth and plenty of others see no need. In fact, the regularity may be exactly what makes it work, satisfying the needs of both desktop and enterprise users, said Jay Lyman, senior analyst for enterprise software at The 451 Group.