I somewhat agree with this, but with the following comments:
A new RHEL release each year probably isn't going to happen (RedHat wouldn't want to release that frequently). I think they release every 2 years now and I've heard of movement towards the cycle lengthening rather than shortening (RHEL having a 8YR lifetime, and new releases coming out every 3-4 years - "the half way point in each releases lifetime").
RHEL does an excellent job of what is designed to do -- I can't believe Dell/HP/IBM are selling new servers that are fully supported under RHEL3, yet that is apparently the case as I see frequent discussions of the matter on vendor mailing lists. Larger or very production focused companies need to use not only a single distribution but a single release across multiple generations of hardware and over a prolonged period.
Of course, within the first half of the enterprise lifetime, RedHat is putting out new service releases every 6-12 months with slightly enhanced/newer functionality that meets the needs of most production users.
The needs that are not meant, however, and which have caused so many users to switch to fedora are:
* RedHat wants a large set of users to contribute and test functionality and code developed during the lengthy period between RHEL releases.
* Users want a well-defined way to contribute and to a certain push the direction of future releases.
* Many users simply want a free RPM based RedHat like distribution to put on desktops/etc where the rate of application changes is far beyond what RHEL provides.
* RedHat needs a way to respond to the rapid growth in community supported/controlled distributions in order to keep their overall brand prominent and user base large.
Are these needs being met in fedora? Yes, somewhat, but at the cost of essentially creating a 2nd distribution with its own set of problems rather than simply extending RHEL. The split between fedora and RHEL is really a high maintenance solution(of which I think is eventually doomed), and its natural that RedHat will want to minimize the costs associated.
I have yet to see a clear explanation of why RedHat shouldn't solve this situation by:
a) Putting out new RHEL releases more frequently (every 24 months would be ideal). Honestly, I have yet to see a situation where a production system needs to be majorly upgraded more frequently than every 2 years.
b) Stop all Fedora Development and just put out the RHEL development code base (I know fedora is supposed to test out new features of RHEL but diverges so much that it really is a separate distribution that isn't where someone interested in contributing to RHEL should go.)
c) Dedicate resources towards modestly helping CentOS and perhaps have user contributed RPMS merged with CentOS extras in some way. Yes, I understand RedHat has issues with putting any resources towards CentOS which could be viewed as a competitor, but I think any revenue lost would easily be regained by having a more active RHEL community overall. Production business users are still going to want to use RHEL over CentOS.
Some readers are probably thinking this is nothing more than a reinvention of "RedHat Linux", I don't think so because:
a) There is still a very clear distinction between commercially supported users and the development/user communities.
b) RedHat Linux was released every six months, RHEL would be releasing every 2 years in the main tree and continuously in the development tree(essentially a rawhide). RedHat would only be supporting paying RHEL users.
c) RedHat would not have any responsibility for maintaining the extras rpms/etc....that would be offloaded to CentOS.
Maybe I'm missing something, but the whole Fedora project has seemed like a waste of effort to me from the beginning.