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Mandriva Businesses

Newest Mandrake Linux Delayed 179

Jens Lönn writes: "Linux seller MandrakeSoft has had to delay shipment of its newest version of Linux because of problems in moving manufacturing to the United States. Mandrake Linux 8.1 is available as a download, but the first CDs of the product were supposed to ship by the end of September. "Getting 8.1 production up and running in North America has been a slow and expensive process," the company said in a e-mail message to those who have ordered the CD." Since Mandrake makes certains things so easy (smooth installation), I hope they soon get their newest release again on Walmart shelves across the U.S.
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Newest Mandrake Linux Delayed

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  • wal-mart shelves? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TechnoVooDooDaddy ( 470187 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @08:37AM (#2419195) Homepage
    You must consider the wal-mart crowd mentality tho.

    "Who in their right mind would pay for another OS when one came with the system i bought FOR FREE?!"

    It's not really a market i see happening. If you MUST have a Mandrake CD at 2am, most likely you can d/l and burn one yourself..

  • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @08:38AM (#2419196) Homepage Journal
    There is no shortage of U.S. firms capable of packaging software and Mandrake's delay in getting their product to market could have dire consequences. The entire Linux distribution market is in a precarious position. Their business model is predicated on most potential customers not having the bandwidth to download multiple CDs, but with cable modems (and DSL connections) finding their way into more and more homes, many people are finding that downloading 1-5 CDs is no big deal. Start it up, wait a few hours or go to bed, burn them the next day.

    Add a delay to the availability of a boxed distribution and suddenly people are asking their friends with high-speed connections to download and burn a set of CDs for them. Some that would have paid for a retail copy will now download it themselves rather than wait for it to appear on store shelves.

    The only hope that I see for the Linux distro market in the near future is to switch over to DVDs since most people currently lack the capability of burning DVDs from images.
  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:16AM (#2419584) Homepage

    The U.S. has been and is a great place. However, the crazy legal environment and corporate republic mentality will gradually cause a migration to Europe anyway for pragmatic reasons.

    In the EU there is no DMCA, no weird cryptography rules. The EU Commission, as bad as it is, even seems to be handling the Microsoft issues better.

    Recruitment will happen. The benefits are much better: lower crime, health care, 5 weeks holiday, free university, pension, and in some countries, clean rivers and lakes.

    Also, most European governments (at least the Northern European ones) make it really easy to start small businesses and provide tax major breaks and grants. The larger countries also get pretty good deals. However, the competition between companies in the same branch is often really cuttroat and dictated by who is childhood friends with whom.

    For example, regarding privacy, I automaticaly get a written statement of who has requested my credit rating and why.

    The other option is to phase in the European standard of living in the U.S. For ex, doesn't California provide free or inexpensive university to its residents?

  • So long Mandrake (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bryanbrunton ( 262081 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:22AM (#2419609)
    It is now easy to predict that Mandrake will go down as the biggest Linux distro screw up of all time.

    (1) Their management is obviously incompetent. This group of French business dum asses handed the most popular (at least by download stats) Linux distro over to a bunch of dot-bomb e-learning idiots here in the States. They later fired that group. Who knows how much money that cost.

    (2) Mandrake has to have the worst marketing of all the Linux distros. There is a reason that no big OEMs that Mandrake seriously. This distro has attempted to sell an operating system that people will use to run their businesses while the main Mandrake marketing motif is a drunken looking goofy version of Tux. As for the Mandrake icons and graphics all I can say is it great that Gael Duval's sister has found work.

    (3) The Q&A that you see from the older distros like SuSE and RedHat just isn't there. Mandrake 8.1 uses DevFS. While an admirable technical pioneering effort, you just have to look at the Mandrake mailing lists to see that DevFS isn't ready for prime time. It is pretty much a disaster as there are significant hardware configs that DevFS can't handle. Mandrake went from the distro that has the best hardware support to the distro that has the worst. And this is supposed to be a Newbie Linux? 8.1 shipped with a kernel with a VERY broken VM. I have locked up my box many times now as the kernel after taking all 256 megs of swap dies a horrible death.

  • by JM ( 18663 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:38AM (#2419708) Homepage
    It *is* slow, believe me

    1) Get quotes and find the right supplier

    2) Fill in the credit application form

    3) Hit voicemail

    4) Get the iso images burned on a CD-R and tested on a few machines to make sure the media is OK

    5) Get the artwork in a format that's readable by the film-maker (sorry, gotta use QuarkXpress)

    6) Get the artwork to a print bureau and check the output for any errors

    7) Get the address where to send all the materials

    8) Send them

    9) Make sure all they received is okay

    10) Hit the voice mail

    11) It's weekend, so it will have to wait until monday

    12) The CD plant received all the documents

    13) They make the film for printing

    14) They fax you a copy

    15) You approve the copy and send it back

    16) They call to ask it you want a white background or leave it silvery. They hit your voicemail

    17) You call them back and tell them to leave it silvery

    18) They start manufacturing

    19) A couple of days later, your CDs are ready, they ship it to you via UPS/Fedex/Whatever

    20) You receive them in your warehouse and have to ship thousands of CDs one-by-one

  • by Doc Hopper ( 59070 ) <> on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:52AM (#2419781) Homepage Journal
    Just so you know, there is a pretty significant difference between versions of packages marketed by Mandrake. The "download edition" doesn't nearly include all the software, or even quite the same install, as the commercial versions, which bundle Star Office, Real Player, and a host of other useful, but non-free, applications.

    I highly recommend buying an off-the-shelf version and comparing it to the version you downloaded. It's rather enlightening, and it's tough to go back to the "download edition" afterward.
  • by LMCBoy ( 185365 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @12:21PM (#2420300) Homepage Journal
    The "review" was satire. I think most of the flames were directed at the clueless MCSE's who sprang up in the discussion...
  • by Fencepost ( 107992 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @12:34PM (#2420383) Journal
    (it's on a different and non-connected system, typos are mine)

    We have experienced some unexpected delays in production of the CD-Roms. The 8.1 sets were originally planned to be produced at our corporate headquarters in Europe. The combined delays in European production and international shipping has caused us to re-think our original plan. MandrakeSoft Inc has started production of 8.1 here in North America. Getting 8.1 production up and running in North America has been a slow and expensive process.

    We expect to have your order No [# removed] processed and shipped by mid-October.

    Depending on how they're trying to get these set up (high-volume burns vs. pressing), I don't see a 2-week delay as unreasonable considering that they probably had to:
    • find companies that could create the CDs (including labeling or possibly silkscreening),
    • get quotes from them (probably at least 3, and possibly a day or two each),
    • arrange payment (MandrakeSoft is probably considered a dot-com, and does anyone give credit to dot-coms these days?) and
    • probably all sorts of other stuff.
    It's the kind of thing that as an individual you could probably do in just a couple days, but even fast companies have more baggage to carry through the whole process.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.