The ethos is that Fedora will have regular releases (at around 4- to 6-month intervals), agreed upon by a common committee, which will feature functionality that will often find its way into the Red Hat Linux product.
Why bother? Well, such a change offers a number of benefits to the end user as well as Red Hat, Inc., itself, including the following:
Open source model: This allows the community to contribute to the development of the product without being constrained by retail dependencies. This results in a faster development process.
Risk: It allows the community to introduce and provide a proving ground to new features and technologies that may be incorporated into the product. This is something that would not have been possible with a retail product.
Opportunity: The open source model allows developers to join and participate in the creation of the Fedora code base and the features within. You can even create your own distribution based on Fedora, providing you comply with the trademark rules defined by the open source licenses such as GPL.
Sound too good to be true? Well, there are some caveats, mainly focused around the following keys areas:
Certification in the areas of hardware, software, and independent system vendors
As an open source product developed by the developer community for early adopters and enthusiasts , there is no support from the likes of Red Hat, Inc. Support falls to the developer community, which is sufficient for most users but obviously not for corporate customers who need to adhere to service levels. There are other limitations, such as the lack of Independent System Vendor (ISV) certifications and the lack of hardware or standards certifications. Companies such as Dell and HP underwrite the running of Red Hat Linux on certain hardware platforms and components that they supply through thorough testing by them.
However, the audience at which Fedora is aimed is usually not concerned with such limitations, and if users are concerned , they always have the option of looking at commercial distributions such as Red Hat.