During an inteview with NewsForge at LinuxWorld, MandrakeSoft CEO Francois Bancilhon said the company is releasing financial results today that show a profit. “Now, he said, “we can move to the next step, which is to grow it.” In the meantime, Mandrake Linux 10-beta1 was released today.
MandrakeSoft Profitable Says CEO; Mandrake Linux 10-b1 Out
Submitted by Aaron Benedict 2004-01-22 Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris 27 Comments
w00t mandrake rox lol. Ahh good stuff. Hopefully the next release of Mandrake will help the company out. I really think that Mandrake is a good all around distro much like Red Hat was. You can have it as a workstation, home desktop or server. 😀
Mandrake 9.2 was, for many people, a disastrous release full of bugs and gotchas. To make matters worse, many of the ‘updates’ actually caused more problems, such as the infamous menu-disappearing bug. Looking around forums and newsgroups on the Net, there are endless posts from newcomers and longtime Mandrake devotees who’re upset with the lack of QA; a first-timer who has been told that Linux is solid and stable isn’t going to be impressed by all the bugs and many, many megabytes of updates.
So, here’s hoping MandrakeSoft sorts out its QA procedures for 10.0. Worryingly, however, their schedule gives less than a month between the first beta and the final release. That is no way near enough time to fully test all the components — particularly considering how much new, bleeding-edge and untested stuff is in there (kernel, XFree86, KDE). Red Hat’s schedule for Fedora Core 2 provides three months of testing, and RH releases have been typically more robust as a result.
MandrakeSoft have done wonders for Linux desktop adoption, but unless they start concentrating on stability and cleanliness over bleeding-edge untested features, they’ll only turn away potential convertees and hurt their bottom line. Stability matters so much to newcomers — if it’s glitchy and bug-ridden, and needs loads of updates, it gives a bad impression of Linux in the long run.
Did anyone even proof-read this article? Terrible.
Second, it’s great that Mandrake made a profit. How much are they in debt? How long before the profits can make up for the all the debt they racked up with their failed edutainment venture?
Here we are:
well supposedly their community version probably might be that way but aparently the other version theyre developing probably will be more stable.
I have been an avid Mandrake supporter for years, but the following has me concerned:
“The “community” version is expected to be the first major Linux distribution that includes the 2.6 kernel. Two or three months later, the “official” version will also incorporate the new kernel.
Bancilhon expects to see updated versions of the “community version” every six months, while the “official” version will be on an 18 month release cycle.”
Basically, I take this to be that they will use the community version as a way to beta-test their real distribution. The paying customers get the good stuff, the rest of us deal with the bugs and have to be on a constant upgrade treadmill because security updates will no longer be provided after six months.
Very disturbing, IF this is indeed the case.
Six months is not nearly enough time for an operating system to stop being supported. This is just plain ridiculous and IT is exactly the same thing that Red Hat is doing with Fedora, which at the time I found appalling. Only difference is that Fedora actually has a fedora-legacy project that seeks to have longer-maintenance cycles.
What do you folks think?
Sounds kind of like what Redhat did with Fedora.
It depends on whether or not the ‘Official’ version will still be freely downloadable and distributable. If so, things are brilliant — developers and power-users can play with the Community version and iron out the bugs, while regular users and newcomers can run the more stable and mature Official version.
If the Official version is buy-only and non-redistributable, then as one poster said it’ll be just like the Fedora/RHEL situation; in other words, a problem for normal end users. If this was to happen, I’d expect a distro like Ark Linux to step into its place and offer a free, Free newcomer-friendly distro. MandrakeSoft would be in trouble — they don’t have the corporate clout that Red Hat have, and the purely-paying desktop distro market is still very tiny (as can be seen from Xandros and Lindows etc.).
It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out!
One of the main reasons people use Mandrake, aside from the ease of use, is the fact that they usually offer the latest packages in their mainline distro before others do. It’s a blessing and a curse (some releases have been marred by bugs that wider testing would have uncovered). However, I see this as a case of the glass being half full. The fact that they will be offering a version of their product on an 18 month release cycle is a welcome change. It offers Mandrake ease of use in conjunction with a stable platform, which has been hit and miss in the past. Plus, they don’t risk alienating those of us who enjoy the bleeding edge (even if it means more bugs) by releasing a “community distro” as well with newer packages. All in all, I like it. Six months is a short amount of time between releases, but if they provide an upgrade mechanism through URPMI that can update the entire distro, I can see this working well for them.
“The fact that they will be offering a version of their product on an 18 month release cycle is a welcome change. It offers Mandrake ease of use in conjunction with a stable platform, which has been hit and miss in the past.”
No, the 18-month release cycle has been in place for some time and it used to be longer than that. Even 18 months is too little for an official distro, which is what you would use on a server.
Servers are only upgraded every 3 to 5 years. I am having a hard time understanding what it is that Mandrake is thinking.
How much are they in debt? How long before the profits can make up for the all the debt they racked up with their failed edutainment venture?
Well, since they were under the French equivalent of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, they probably don’t have any debts left by now.
While it may be true that servers are only updated every few years, it is also true that new servers are comming into play all of the time. He says nothing about the life cycle and support for older releases. This is really two different issues. But I agree in a way. What they could do instead is move to more frequent releases, with one designated official and one designated bleeding edge (maybe they could call them woody and sid).
On the 10 beta side, I don’t think the one month is unrealistic. I have been using the cooker snapshot for over a month and I have not had any problems at this point. Once you try 2.6.x, there is no going back, it is much smooter. The kernel is the major improvement, there is not a lot of other differences.
Well one of the strong points of the distro have been that it’s populatity meand that you can usually find packages built for it. Forking the community and “official” distros is going to make it harder for people to offer working packages for it. Becasue god knows that the once working packages will stop woring 6 months later after upgrade. You can say build from source or distributed packages but if that were thh case then why not go with a source or debian based distro?
Even if there were more apps for Linux nobody has the time to build packages for every version of every distro. It does not scale.
Unless Beta 1 has progressed substantially from -pre (late December Cooker), I can’t see how one month is going to give them enough time to iron out the kinks. -Pre was unusably buggy and broken. I was told to download and recompile kernel sources to get my [common] sound chipset to work (and that was more effort than I cared to expend, so I never got sound), KDE never lasted more than fifteen minutes without crashing, MCC (particularly the internet connection settings) were unusable, urpmi borked itself and the rest of the system — on reboot, it would die while loading the kernel — when I ran “urpmi kdm”, and overall the entire system was mind-numbingly slow.
Perhaps I’m just used to the performance and ease of use of the BSDs, but I don’t think that’s all. I’ve used Mandrake on and off for years (from 7.1 to 9.2) and it’s never been in a sorrier state.
I just paid $100 for Mandrake 9.2 for AMD64. Not only does it not work after the install, I paid $100 for an update of RC2 which has so many bugs RC2 was better. What a waste of cash. I was at Linux World today and I have better hopes for Red Hat and Sun. Not to downgrade Mandrake, but they better get their act together. These bugs should not be in a release distro. What a load of crap I have to say. Plus this release was burned to cdr. Talk about getting crap, and then bending over to take it from the French in the behind. (sorry I am drunk on Austrailian wine).
It’s not Mandrake’s fault you got ripped off. Where exactly did you spend this $100? The street corner?
(think before you speak)
Think before *you* speak.
The cds they sell are pressed.
OPs.. please don’t let them!
| status: finishing in 20:32:08 (6.4%)
| speed: 28.9 KB/s down – 43.5 KB/s up
| totals: 124.2 MB down – 154.4 MB up
| error(s): |
Sane performance, IMHO.
I’m going to test this particular distro, and hoopefully, I will find a lot of bugs. It’s the better way for me to be sure to have a smoothly distro on my particular hardrive.
Last time, I waited bis the last RC in the hope to be less annoyed by the bugs, but if History can learn us here a thing, bugs found in the beta version are far more likely to be corrected than the one in the last Release Candidate.
As a side note, here are screenshots from the new mandrake control center, and from the new menu layuout http://perso.wanadoo.fr/gnumdk/mcc.png
I don’t like very much the new menu layout. Looks to be backward, more like windows XP IMHO. I better like this proposal (Far less changes : Applications renamed Others, menudrake improved, and <<User apps>> pointing to applications:// so that user can personalize it) :
why is everyone acting as if it’s the “community” distro that’s new?
it’s not. it’s the “official” distro.
mandrake has been on a 6-month release cycle since it was launched. 10.0 will come out six months after 9.2, which came out six months after 9.1, which came out six months after 9.0, so on all the way back to 5.3. It’s nothing new. The “official” distro is the new thing, presumably intended to give a more stable and long-term platform for enterprise use. Most osnews-type users will go on using the community distro, which will be just like Mandrake has always been.
to the person who said there was nothing much new besides kernel…heh…try new major releases of XFree86 and KDE? is that enough to be going on with?
The problem is not with Mandrake being on a six month release cycle. My concern is with the length of support that they appear to be giving to the community distribution. If security updates for it will also be available for eighteen months, then I can live with that.
Otherwise, it is a change. And the change also lies in the fact that Mandrake has always been a community distribution. By creating that distinction now, I feel as though they are just turning us into a bunch of cheap beta-testers.
I hope I am wrong about this and it would be great to have an official answer on these things.
there is absolutely nothing at all in the interview about support periods for either version of the distro. also note that Francois explicitly states that it’s *not* the same thing as Red Hat are doing, as the community version will still be an official, officially supported product. MDKsoft have no need to turn point-release users into “cheap beta testers”, as MDK development is open and they have us Cooker users to be the cheap beta testers instead…
Public releases and support period have already been stated in the “8 Golden rules”.
So : isos (containing 100% free software, not commercial packages) will still be free for everyone.
Just a note for everyone – if you’re gonna try 10.0 beta 1, use the 2.6.1 kernel, not the 2.4.25 one. It got built at a bad time and includes a seriously broken build of the 2.4 kernel (like, “there’s no modules in it” kind of serious). 2.6 is new and shiny and fun anyway!
It is nice for a Company to file for Chapter whatever and still continue to operate. What about all the past due debts they owe?
Invest more money in Mandrake,so as to protect yourself from another Chapter Eleven,or worse.This of coure applies only to those unfortuate souls,that bought stock in Mandrake.