Yes, it would make thinks very interesting development wise if there was a dependable revenue stream.
If you just imagine that Vectorlinux has gotten to where it is now with just the part-time passions for a handful of developers.
Just imagine again what could be done if those 4 or 5 actually could devote their efforts to it full-time.
I agree with the speaker in this video. You don't need 100 dev's to make good software, anywhere from 1-5 who can devote themselves to it full-time can do amazing things.
Trouble is I don't know of any "Desktop" distribution that has been successful with a revenue model. With opensource the technology is easy and accessible the real barriers are revenue and time.
I think a subscription model makes sense. I pay 6.99 per month to build up credits at audible.com. I never notice it, but when I go there to pick up a new book, I'm amazed how many credits I have built.
Even if users could be altruistic enough to sign on to say $10.00/mth we would still need 500 to 600 subscribers to put one of the dev's on to full time.
Also a pay for software model makes sense. Maybe .99 cents per download.
Is it fair to ask users to pay 10.00/month or for software downloads? I'd say so, absolutely. Compared to the yearly costs of running Windows or Mac, that's cheap, but VL's competition is not Windows or Mac, it's other Linux's.
And it's not that users are not willing to pay to support a Linux distribution, but competition in the Linux world is a great example of what Adam Smith predicted in "Wealth of Nations"
Competition of the traditional variety, with multiple firms offering nearly identical products and services, can quickly push prices to zero.
So, there is the rub. My one prediction is that what will ultimately be the One Linux distribution to rule them all, does not need to be the best linux distribution at all. It simply needs to be the one that answers this riddle, and figures out how to get paid.