wounded in the line of duty
A fundamental problem RedHat, Ubuntu and others will need to face is that Linux distributions are maturing and becoming a commodity. That means that as the hardware/software becomes more reliable and more stable, there is less and less reason to pay for support for one distribution, when the next offers a perfectly stable (and free) alternative.
Don't take my word for it - check out SecuritySpace's latest Linux/OS Hosting Report Compare the top distributions, and you consistenly see that RedHat, SuSE and Fedora are losing market share, while Debian, CentOS and FreeBSD are gaining. Month over month, without fail.
Add to that that hosting providers used to offer almost exclusively either Windows, RedHat or FreeBSD, and suddenly Debian and Ubuntu are becoming a much more popular alternative.
This all points to a situation where RedHat's days are numbered. And yes, ultimately, if distributions are synchronized, (which RedHat will never agree to), it would allow other distributions to steal even more quickly RedHat's advantage, what little they have left, because it would allow for a more direct comparison. When you're losing market share, the last thing you want to do is to make it easier for your customers to see that your competitor is offering the same or better.
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