While we've reported on some informal user polls that have shown Ubuntu holding onto fairly steady popularity, there are some reasons to wonder if it is on the verge of a decline in popularity. Bruce Byfield, in a Datamation column, says "I am increasingly convinced that this last year will be noted as the start of the decline of Ubuntu."
Of course, Ubuntu remains a very high-profile platform. It was just chosen to deliver the Steam gaming platform to Linux, has been forked in countless ways, and has many enthusiastic users. But Byfield writes:
"Ubuntu and Canonical have isolated themselves from the free software community that Shuttleworth once hoped to lead. In the last year, the community has signaled repeatedly that at least parts of it feel disempowered."