Respectfully, this article is hogwash. Canonical has done more for Linux usability and the Linux desktop than any other company. I'm typing this on a Dell XPS 13 that shipped, in Canada, with Ubuntu 12.04. This is alone is a major accomplishment. Step outside of North America and you can find Ubuntu shipping on desktops and laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and many other manufacturers. This is because of the strength of the Ubuntu desktop, and Canonical as a backer.
I use Unity on devices with small screens, and with multi-monitor setups. It isn't perfect, but I haven't found anything more productive, and it's improving quickly. Canonical's other efforts, such as the Ubuntu font, and integrated colour management and optimized fonts, also make Ubuntu the first out-of-the-box Linux setup that I can use for print and design work. Yes, I often do this using VMs to run proprietary software, but I know I can count on decent colour calibration. Unity is still in development, but I can see how it could scale from phone to desktop better than any other environment.
At work, we use Ubuntu on server and desktop. Their predictable LTS release, as well as continuing improvements such as their HWE updates make this a relative dream when compared to any other distribution. When I deploy using Ubuntu, I barely have to stop to wonder if the software will work, whether I'm considering the latest laptops, or older, obscure servers. More than any other OS, Ubuntu just works. My small business also makes extensive use of Ubuntu for server deployment, turnkey systems, and virtualization. Of course, Ubuntu is also my main software platform on all of my computing devices.
Ubuntu is the most used cloud computing platform, and Canonical's efforts on creating devops tools are again leading the pack.
From what I see, Mr. Shuttleworth and Canonical are working harder than ever on trying to do something amazing with open source software that scales from phone to cloud. Some efforts like the Ubuntu TV project are not bearing fruit immediately, but this, Ubuntu Touch, their cloud efforts, and more, are building an open platform and ecosystem that is unparalleled in the open source world, and goes toe-to-toe with the ecosystems being developed by Apple, Google, and Amazon. And they're doing all of this on a relatively shoestring budget.
You could argue that they should work more closely with some upstream projects, but at the end of the day, they are showing strong leadership and need to be able to move in the direction that they think is best. They are doing all of this openly, and the code speaks for itself, for better or worse. Personally, I very much believe that it is for better.
I appreciate and will support their continuing efforts.