This results in brilliant solutions because all good ideas will be incorporated in Linux and flow back to the users.
So there we are then with brilliant solutions...worth nothing?
Well that is not exactly true because brilliant solutions are good for business, and it is reassuring that millions of people and corporations are constantly developing so the chances of future even better options are likely.
So where are the money to be maid if we cannot sit on our development and call it ours? After all; if you have spent time and money - it is only fair that you get it back..and then some... right?
That is both right and wrong because you do get back solutions from others who also spent time and money. It will still leave your wallet empty though...
Canonical is making money with Ubuntu speculating in the corporates owners conservatism and their wish to decide themselves when to upgrade.
Upgrading computer systems is time and money consuming so the corporations want to decide the right timing themselves and not leave it to some development unit in a third party corporation.
Canonical has a free/paid policy where you can have hundreds of computers running completely free Ubuntu but there is also an option of paid support if needed.
SUSE and RedHat are pure paid options while Canonical fills a niche that lets you pick and pinpoint exactly where the support is needed.
Ubuntu has a five year circle of support and as mentioned not every corporations is willing to refurnish their computers every five years so you can pay for longer support and switch when the time is right.
Upgrades are a necessary evil and not a priority!
As expected, most companies, with big enough pockets, like the idea of having that luxury of extended support to create a buffer for planning and executing upgrades when they are ready, without worrying about end-of-life (EOL).
This need for buffer creates a business model for Canonical, and Mark Shuttleworth’s company is not missing this opportunity.
The solution is to pay for the Ubuntu Advantage program with professional 24/7 support, and you can continue to run and get upgrades and fixes for your Ubuntu version.
The Upgrade to a newer version is then up to you, as it should be in your business.
All those customers who are still running Ubuntu 12.04 have two options, either invest resources towards upgrading from 12.04 and hit the April 27 deadline or pony up and buy the extended life and plan upgrades at their own leisure. Most companies will choose the latter option. According to Canonical, companies like Bloomberg, eBay, AT&T, Walmart, CISCO, etc. are already part of the Ubuntu Advantage program.
The beauty of it is that you do have the choice of simply upgrading..for free and not spend a dime given that your business is flexible enough.
Canonical offers a choice and leaves it up to you.
RedHat and SUSE will "go all in" with paid support from day one but do offer 100 % free options with OpenSUSE and Centos.
Those are pretty much identical versions of the paid version but without the corporate support.
Those are all profitable business models so it is up to you to pick one.
Open Source software is profitable.