I agree - it really was an attack on Canonical, and even if justified should have made it very clear that he works for Novell, who have a direct interest in not seeing Canonical succeed, even if Greg is only focused on how the community works.
Overall, I think Canonical does need to contribute more, particularly around the kernel where I've encountered some annoying bugs. However, they first need to get more revenue - unlike Red Hat and Novell, they don't have a significant revenue stream from enterprise support agreements. In fact the ratio of paying customers to non-paying users is far, far higher for Red Hat / Novell than Canonical/Ubuntu.
Personally I find the Ubuntu stance on free software and particularly patents infinitely preferable to Novell getting into bed with Microsoft. If Novell's upstream contributions really depend on the Microsoft deal, it would be a lot better in the long-term if they scaled back upstream work and tore up the Microsoft agreement.