It may very well be that RMS's comments were over the top but please check the numbers on DistroWatch - those numbers will testify that Canonical is not making the right decisions, at least not on the desktop, and RMS's sentiments are quite likely shared by plenty of your former users.
Distrowatch is probably the least accurate measurement of usage numbers that exists. The fact that Mint is beating Ubuntu on Distrowatch is a result of a lot of Mint users saying "Hey, let's keep hitting Distrowatch so we make sure we beat Ubuntu on Distrowatch" and has nothing to do with actual use of the OS.
And to some extent I would think Canonical is okay with that. A cull of their core users expecting an unencumbered free tool is probably in their best interests. People who are willing to trade something of monetary value arguably should be the focus of any business.
Also, don't leave here thinking that DistroWatch is a good metric of mindshare among Linux users...
"The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics...show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more."
Before this point, Canonical sold support as their approach to monetizing their investment in creating a distribution. Data collection, applying analytic, and selling user data is incompatible with both the free-to-use Ubuntu community, and the enterprise customers.
Canonical has fundamentally changed what the Ubuntu brand means, and that is reflected in people finding that good alternatives exist.
In other words then, Canonical has modified their business plans with respect to Ubuntu, probably because the previous revenue model didn't work. What makes these so-called "alternatives" so much more viable? How will they succeed where Canonical failed?