Over the last few days, I have had to perform a number of clean installations, some using Debian, some using Ubuntu. Whenever handing over freshly OEM'ed hardware, I like to include a copy of the CD media to the customer, as a courtesy.
This works extremely well for Ubuntu, from whom it is possible to order official release CD. Customers always get a nice buzz out of that.
For Debian, though, I always get embarrassed looks over the home-burnt CD, because it projects a lack of professionalism. Enterprise customers want a commercially pressed CD and they want it to be the official one published by Debian; explaining to them that Debian doesn't publish pressed CD media produces an instant lack of trust in Debian. What can I say? It's their perception and, as the old saying goes, the customer is always right.
This got me thinking, why doesn't Debian have its own ShipIt like Ubuntu? Granted, Debian is a non-profit organization, but surely that would not prevent selling official CD media to help cover at least some of its operational expenses, now, would it?
One way to implement this would be to hire the exact same CD pressing plant that Canonical employs to handle their CD ordering and shipping logistics. They already have the procedure and tools in place to handle this; they just need to add a branded version of that ordering site for Debian's needs and to receive official ISO files from Debian's Release Manager every year or so. How about it?