Ubuntu is currently the most popular Linux distro and to many people, "Ubuntu" has even become the synonym of Linux. However, one interesting fact I just learned today is that, despite being around since 2004, Ubuntu hasnt brought any profit to Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical yet.
2 days ago, Sean Micheal Kerner from internetnews.com published a short article about how Ubuntu is still not profitable. According to him, Mark Shuttleworh had admitted that Canonical was not cash flow positive in 2008. And nothing has changed since then.
"Fast forward to 2013 and during a call announcing Ubuntu for Tablets and Shuttleworth once again said that his company was still not profitable.
That's right folks after over four years of desktop, server and cloud innovation and talk - Shuttleworth is still not actually making money from Linux. If you were to look back and see how long it took Shuttleworth to make money on his first company -- Thawte (for SSL certificates)- I strongly suspect the road was not as long."
All in all, with the success of Red Hat and the small distros like Mint, that's really a surprise to me to know that Ubuntu is still not profitable. However, with Ubuntu trying to invade the smartphone and tablet market, I hope Ubuntu and Canonical will make serious money soon.