Mandriva Press Release Raises More Questions
Mandriva S.A. issued a press release to announce the restructuring of its core business organization. While specifics were still not given, the main message did come through: Mandriva will survive, in some fashion, for a while anyway.
The statement said that Mandriva was important to several organizations, and thus, members of these organizations would be joining the Mandriva Board of Directors. This perhaps explains the new long term structuring and future distribution of Mandriva - which was explained as, "Mandriva Linux will be distributed exclusively by a sales and integrated IT network" and "OEM partnerships." New board member Jean-Noël de Galzain, President of IF Research said, "The company will focus first on its profitability and the promotion of a new commercial dynamic based on a range of innovative products offered through a channel of Value Added Resellers," but specific strategies would be revealed at the next board meeting. The announcement did include news that the latest version would be released shortly, but users are left to wait until that meeting to find out if a freely downloadable version would remain a part of the future strategy.
In the short term, Mandriva is concentrating on cutting costs and raising funds to stay afloat. The company is also negotiating with other investors, who will be revealed at the next board meeting.
The tone of the press release is uncharacteristic of Mandriva's communications and leaves one to wonder if all this is truly good news. While volunteer developers are invaluable to Mandriva's continued success, its paid developers are indispensable - and they've already lost several. If more developers are on the cut list, that will not bode well for Mandriva. A concentration on the commercial aspect is needed for Mandriva's continued survival, but nothing was said of the community other than it being a feather in their cap.
The bottom line of the July 7 press release is that it answered no real questions and, in fact, only left loyal community members scratching their heads once again.
UPDATE: Mandriva announced the release of Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring on July 8. The same day it was reported that NGI Fund acquired a stake in Mandriva in order to develop a Russian operating system.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.