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Linux Business Mandriva Linux

Mandriva Up For Sale 167

The French company that creates and sells the Mandriva Linux distribution is up for sale. The news about Mandriva SA originally surfaced on a French Mandriva portal, and was confirmed by one of the potential buyers. Mandriva the distribution is a merger of the former MandrakeLinux and Conectiva distros. Mandriva the company is no stranger to hard times, having sought bankruptcy protection in the past.
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Mandriva Up For Sale

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  • Wonder why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:16PM (#32172488) Homepage

    I wanted to like Mandriva (or Mandrake as it was then called) but the configuration interfaces were just too confusing. But the real kicker was the lack of documentation and community support online.

    These are two things Ubuntu has done right. I think it's easy to see why Ubuntu stole Mandriva's thunder.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:24PM (#32172588)

    Just felt like it fell behind the times and was no longer the easiest Linux to use anymore.

    It's amazing what having millions of dollars to throw into a software project can do.

    To my knowledge, Mandriva did not have someone behind it with loads of money.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:27PM (#32172632)
    What happened is that Mandriva could not out-compete Ubuntu when it came to user-friendliness, probably because Canonical has a magical supply of money that Mandriva does not. Mandriva also seemed to be targeting the wrong markets: they should have gone after the enterprise server market, where the money is, rather than the desktop Linux market, where there really is not that much money to go around. With so many no-cost Linux distros around, and with those distros becoming easier and easier for people to use, trying to sell a "power pack" is really not the best strategy, especially not in tough economic times.

    Oh well, one business goes bankrupt, another comes to be. This is not the end of the Linux business, it is just the end of one of the well known players.
  • Value? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:30PM (#32172672)

    I've got to say, I don't see a ton of value in Mandriva as a business acquisition. They have some sales deals mostly in France and Brazil, but not enough to really make much in the way of revenue. Their distro is solid, but not really ahead of Ubuntu in any meaningful way. Their only real value as I see it, is the developer expertise. The business people seem to be pretty clueless and disorganized. I'm not sure it makes a lot of business sense to buy Mandriva for their distribution if you're looking to get into (or are already in) the desktop Linux business. Developers in the community tend to target the leaders, so they will always be at a disadvantage to bigger distros. What does buying Mandriva and using it on appliances or netbooks get you versus hiring people and going with Ubuntu or even ChromeOS? Both Canonical and Google seem willing and eager to partner. This just leaves the question in my mind of what another fragment of the Linux distro pie brings as a business asset. Maybe Canonical or Google or Redhat could buy them for the developers and mothball Mandriva while merging it with their own distro. That would make sense as a way to branch into the markets in those countries and get functional developer teams.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:3, Insightful)

    by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:39PM (#32172816)

    Slackware and RedHat are still going strong.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorzek ( 647352 ) <gorzek AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:43PM (#32172866) Homepage Journal

    Looking at it another way, Mandrake at least proved a user-friendly Linux was *possible*. Without that, we may not have had Ubuntu at all. The Linux community is indebted to the trail Mandrake blazed, but its time has long since passed, and all the money is behind Ubuntu now.

    I don't mind that, as I like Ubuntu a lot, and have found it a remarkably easy distro to set up and use.

    I suppose it's inevitable that Linux distros will be born, reach their peak, decline, and die. Diversity in the Linux ecosystem is a good thing. When (not if!) Ubuntu starts to slack, someone else will step up and replace it with something even better.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:50PM (#32172936) Homepage

    Meh. I dumped Mandrake for Debian over package management.

    Ubuntu has a much better user community behind it that drives a lot of their tweaks. It's not just
    about the Sugar Daddy. A lot of the end users are trying to find ways to make the distribution
    better. This makes quite a bit of difference. It also helps that there is a framework in place to
    accomodate them.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <<gmack> <at> <>> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:26PM (#32175192) Homepage Journal

    Broadcom's Linux problem is Broadcom. They insist on forcing everyone to use their own crappy non open sourced drive that fails on all but a few kernels. Essentially they are trying to be like NVIDIA without being at all competent at creating drivers. It's a sad day when a company's windows drivers work better in Linux (NDIS) than their Linux drivers.

    I had problems with my DELL laptop and Broadcom but I quickly learned the best fix for that is to just order an $18 Atheros based Mini-PCIE card from China and just swap the blasted thing.

  • Re:Poor Mandrake (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:15AM (#32180290) Homepage

    I suppose it's inevitable that Linux distros will be born, reach their peak, decline, and die. Diversity in the Linux ecosystem is a good thing. When (not if!) Ubuntu starts to slack, someone else will step up and replace it with something even better.

    Yeah, like Debian (1993), Red Hat (1994) and Suse (1994) all have died. Wait, that didn't happen and they've been around ever since Linux 1.0 was released in 1994. I don't fear that Ubuntu will die, I more fear they'll become a corporate / cloud distro and debrand the way Red Hat did with RHL -> Fedora. Because it's a proven fact there's money there, consumer Linux desktops on the other hand are still marginal in terms of revenue.

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @05:49PM (#32187096)
    I have tried lots of distros and none of them can touch how well Mandriva integrates and presents KDE. It is their forte'. If *buntu could figure out how to have a nice KDE integration, it might just further hurt Mandriva. I also greatly appreciate Mandriva's work to have *all* desktops supported, easily selected, and consistently laid out, with centralized management tools that work the same regardless of desktop. It was, and still is, a good idea.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"