"Debian is the basis for Ubuntu, but in some ways you
can argue that Ubuntu has at this point, exceeded Debian. The great
'failure' of Debian is also it's great strength. Debian hasn't been
able to put out releases in a regularly scheduled format in years
-- something developers will commonly attribute to not making a
release until it's ready.
"While Debian has struggled on release dates (getting better
lately), Ubuntu comes out with its releases like clockwork. Though
Debian has been tremendous strides since Sarge with its desktop
installation, Ubuntu has become one of the most popular Linux
distribution for the desktop period."