Mandriva Saved By New Investors

By Caitlyn Martin
June 22, 2010 | Comments: 16

After weeks of concern about the "catastrophic state of it's finances" and an indefinite delay in the release of version 2010.1, the French website LeMagIT is reporting that Mandriva has been saved by new investors. The article quotes Mandriva Director General Arnaud Laprévote: "Today the company found investors who decided to invest in the company, in order to give balance to the organization and to find a good economic model." He added that "the community and users no longer need be concerned." Due to regulations regarding confidentiality the identity of the new investors was not disclosed. Laprévote went on to explain: "we were aware that the existence of Mandriva was threatened, and today that is no longer the case."

There has been a great deal of speculation regarding potential buyers for or investors in Mandriva, with two companies, Lightapp and Lingora, receiving the most attention. On June 14 Frederic Cuif, one of the founders of the Association of French-Speaking Users of Mandriva Linux, had written a blog post expressing the concerns of Mandriva users and employees. He added additional names to the rumors circulating at that time, including the company Wallix and two former Mandriva chairmen: François Bancilhon and Stanislas Bois.

Mr. Laprévote's comments regarding the continuing development of the current Mandriva Linux distribution were reassuring: "Today Mandriva is reinventing itself. We detected new opportunities on the desktop as well as on servers, as well as opportunities to strengthen existing markets such as education."

Mandriva's current offerings include a Linux distribution for the desktop, an Enterprise Server edition, and professional systems administration tools. Arnaud Laprévote became Director General of Mandriva on April 9.


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16 Comments

Very sad to see a company behind such a solid operating system struggling in last 10 years. At least from this time onwards they have to identify a working business model. Hope for the best.

Awesome. It would be a shame to lose such a greatly important distro. Hopefully they can turn things around. Good luck Mandriva!

Hopefully everything goes well for Mandriva. This is my favorite distro.

I've been using it since Mandrake 7.x and have been purchasing the Power Packs since they were first offered. I can't imagine life without Mandriva Linux.

That is very good news. The only thing that bothers me is this, "Due to regulations regarding confidentiality the identity of the new investors was not disclosed." There has to be a reason for that. Maybe I'm concerned for no reason and that would be fine with me. It's going be interesting.

Thanks Caitlyn

so....where is mandriva spring now? Because summer is already here.

I have tried Mandriva spring RC1 under gnome, then RC2 and tested a list of what I needed (else, I cannot test) for 6 week ends... and did not find flaws (under Gnome and with a MSI wind - eeeeeeePC brother- ).

I does not mean it will work for other HW (and I do not like kde4.x, therefore I did only test gnome).
If you like KDE3, I am sure Victor Linux is better (I liked it, too)

Saved - but for how long? I'ld be weary to put my money into Mandriva, but maybe some companies out there need a write-off for the tax man.

Fair comment, but... Mandriva (and Mandrakesoft before the merger with Connectiva) has been in financial trouble on and off since 2003 and it always survives. That also always manage to put out a very strong distribution. Whether they can turn things around this time depends on whether or not the new management can come up with a viable business plan. They have an excellent product but unlike Red Hat, SUSE (Novell) and perhaps even Ubuntu (Canonical) they have never found a way to monetize it. Their ability to do that will determine whether or not they survive long term. In the meanwhile I see no reason why people should't continue to use the distro and I still recommend Mandriva as they best starting point for newcomers to Linux.

Name Mandrake have more value for prosperity than Mandriva. It is necessary to change little name for gaining prosperity. Like Manrivau... It is this same value as Mandrake - numer 4 in numerology. It is litle magic but still working in human minds...

You have to be kidding me! Mandrake was in perpetual financial trouble. The company never had prosperity as Mandrakesoft any more than they have as Mandriva. Connectiva did in South America but not beyond that,

Sorry, I don't believe for a minute that the name is or ever was the problem. The lack of a cogent business model is the only issue and we'll see if the new management can solve that,

Well, the title of the article should have a question mark to be realistic.
There are no more than MNDV's CEO's point of view (and, technically and legally, there cannot be anything more). He seems to have discovered Mandriva's lousy state of phynances, people have known for years... and lived with it, as nobody is perfect and they are technically very good (comercially, they are a little messy: I kept on buying Mandrivas PowerPacks , MNDV Flash /Ones and some HW, however).
For their economical model, there have been tons of competent commenters in DistroQuatsch who can give them lessons...
In France, things were easier in the early 2000's for Mandriva : people/institutions/companies were ready to give some money to get a GNUlinux distributions. Now, as the effects of the 2008 crisis are beginning to be visible, it is highly unlikely they will have such a friendly environment....

Mandrake was responsible for my entry into the linux world I think around version 6.x. I had been mentally crippled by windoz (although knowing some dos helped a bit). I tried RedHat first and struggled for a month to get things somewhat the way I like them. Then I found Mandrake and it was very similar to RedHat - but Mandrake saved me the month RedHat required and always seemed to be ahead offering the "bleeding edge" RedHat protected me from. I will continue to use Mandriva as long as I can finding no reason to switch elsewhere so far. Learning to use linux the Mandrake way led me to a create a successful IT support small business. I always buy the power packs and use Mandriva for both critical server and desktop roles. That said, the name is very important. From my english/US perspective Mandrake was a bad name, Mandriva is much worse - I am embarrassed to tell customers the name and usually just refer to linux. To me it is kind of like having a car company called dipstick or a restaurant called "hole in the ground" - just random nosense. Perhaps in French Mandriva is regal and elegant but I doubt it. To me (english only) Ubuntu is just as dumb but people might wonder what it means - in my opinion no one will even care what Mandriva means and this will definitely hurt the commercial side of things. You can say it does not matter but reality says otherwise. This is a good time to pick a better name but it adds risk with all the other issues so I do not know what is the best move or how to decide on a name that works well across languages. I guess my point is Mandriva absolutely sucks as a product name and if not changed will have less chance to succeed. The thought of having to switch to another distro is very disturbing so POWER to MANDRIVA even though your name sucks.

As English and French can be pronounced the way one wants (rc : "ghoti" can be heard as "fish", see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghoti ), the pronounciation of Mandriva is likely to be quite irrelevant in US english, as it is in french (one can hear "La Faillite, nous voilà" or " Miracle Financier", if one likes).
And being saved by investors cannot always lead to persistance of the good quality (what is happening with Sun? and they did not *need* being sold...).

From a technical point of view (it is what most people download/buy), I tried three options of Mandriva during July :

* the mini-free, with LXDE : it ate 100 M less of RAM than the other two, and I could have {Gnome,KDE} applications running without noticing any failures
* Mandriva ONE GNOME and KDE : and each of these 3 versions, I put (added, from a copy of their repos) the maximum softwares a student might need (to show my nephew), and did not notice any failure in Gnome and LXDE -they all have the same added softwares-- ).

I could notice slight improvements w/r to Mandriva 2010.0:
- Gnome does not become too CPU intensive after hibernation...
- One can install (since 2007) Mandriva on USB sticks, with very little effort; Mandriva 2010.1 added the choice of "MBR on the stick" as a default option.
- They added sagemath (a bunch of math-oriented applications, with a special python launcher) and made public relations about it (which changes from the "it can sing, it can play video" motto of 99.99 distributions)

I have used Mandriva, when it was Mandrake. I have found it is a great software for a Unix like package. The installer and the graphics are nice.

The issue I found is that it seems a bit over priced for server set. I understand that these varieties on Linux have been taken from open source and free to commercial. I understand when that happens it becomes business. I also see the price feels equitable to some. But most Unix type people are higher in the knowledge if how to work even with a stripped down Linux. Often these stripped versions or specialized ones are free. These folks look and say well I can give this free version a test and if it works we are ahead.

The model could have been easier. They could have reduced the prices, create a support, custom development offering, and create a relationship/partnership with open source or modestly price server applications.

The custom interfaces gives greater benefits. It adds value to the product from the point of easy to use and high productivity. It also adds to the ability to market service offerings.

Just an idea

If the comments are correct then possibly Mandriva needs to be a technological subbranch of another company such as EDF, Airbus (inflight entertainement,
educational packages for students of engineering).
As with most companies listed on the stock-exchange:
The price is to be calculated as: if one buys a stock with credit and wants to downpay the credit in 10 years, incl. paying interest: how high (or low) needs the price to be. As almost no "dotcom" meets this criterion (on what do they want to pay expenses) without a powerful owner it looks - in the long term - very difficult.
All other prices / business-models are "seeking for sponsors" or looking for an opportunity to sell a story one bought at a high price to another one at a higher price - assuming that the other one wants a story and not dividends.
To conclude: waiting for realistical (= lower) stock-prices (and company prices) to come.

With best wishes for Mandriva as with some small difficulties it really appears to work

I am calibrated by the reliability of MVS/CMS, also DOS with DOS-Extender, after being strongly shocked by AIX compared to above Mandriva appears to work stable and reliable.

Good luck for Mandriva

Peter

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