Networkworld have a Q&A with Matt Zimmerman, chairman of the technical board and CTO for Ubuntu and he focuses on the CTO.
Read the interview here
Q: To what do you attribute the sky-rocketing popularity of Ubuntu as a desktop platform, vs. more established desktop distros, such as Red Hat/Fedora, SuSE, etc.?
A: There were a substantial number of Linux users, and potential users, who were looking for a platform they could relate to: community-oriented, desktop-focused, easy to use. More experienced users appreciated Ubuntu's roots in the Debian distribution and its fast release cycle.