Canonical Ltd., Mark Shuttleworths UK-based company, has never made a secret of the fact that it has intended to support Ubuntu both as a free of cost Linux and as a commercial venture.
That last part, though, has often been overlooked. During the last year-and-a-half, however, it has become clear that Canonical is moving toward making a real business of providing commercial support and customized distributions for business Ubuntu users.
Specially, Shuttleworth has said, in his Ubuntu wiki, that Canonical "will never introduce a commercial version of Ubuntu. There will never be a difference between the commercial product and the free product, as there is with Red Hat (RHEL and Fedora). Ubuntu releases will always be free."
However, "There are proprietary apps that are certified for Ubuntu. Some Ubuntu-derivatives, like Impi (a South-African customized business Linux distribution) are targeted toward vertical markets that demand specific software, currently proprietary, which they bundle."