Home Business IT Open Source Mandriva moving closer to release
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Nearly 18 months after the company was re-organised, Mandriva, the French GNU/Linux company is making progress towards a release, according to Charles-H. Schulz, its marketing and open source relations manager.

And it looks like the revelations by former NSA security contractor Edward Snowden, about blanket surveillance and spying on ordinary people, will prove a blessing for Mandriva.

Schulz told iTWire: "The French and European origins (I'm including Brazil in this) of Mandriva have put our company in an unique position to offer solutions that help customers maintain or achieve their digital independence, meaning, that they won't be subject to regulations and constraints imposed by specific  North American governmental agencies. The recent news around this topic indirectly highlight this unique value of Mandriva, I think."

He said Mandriva was doing well on both the company and community fronts.

"(The year) 2013 was a year of rebuilding and saw the beginning of growth for the company. On the business level, Mandriva has been gaining several new customers, which hadn't happened since several years, and has been delivering new products while beefing up its existing solutions. In this respect, 2014 will see the fruits of the hard work that was started in 2012."

Schulz said that on the community level, the company had successfully transitioned the development of the historical Mandriva Linux distribution to a community-led, independent project, and as a result, the OpenMandriva project got its first stable release a few weeks ago.

Given that Mandriva bases its server distribution on the codebase of Mageia, a community distribution that was formed when developers forked the existing codebase back in 2010, and its desktop on OpenMandriva, it essentially needs to pull from two upstreams.

Schulz said this had not been all that difficult. "There are mainly two reasons for this. The first is that each upstream is channelled to very different and specific products. The second is that we do enjoy good relations with each of the upstream and as such we end up in each case with win-win partnerships I believe."

He said Mandriva  was planning a major release of its Pulse2 IT systems management software at the beginning of 2014.

Asked about the company's business strategy as compared to SUSE, Schulz said SUSE mostly aimed at high-end markets and relied on bundled sales of high-end hardware.

"It's a great business model but in the case of Mandriva, we are aiming at SMEs as well as public sector sales. While this does not exclude high-end customers, it means our solutions are tailored to different needs. In terms of geography, our focus is on Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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