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Upside: MandrakeSoft comes out of the woodwork

Mar 22, 2000, 17:23 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

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"It was 1998, and KDE had just come out, " Lemarois recalls. "He wanted to take Red Hat [the Linux distribution], remove the crappy interface, install KDE in its place and make the user links a bit easier."

"In the proprietary software world, such a project might have taken months, incurring numerous court costs along the way. Given the fact that the Gnu General Public License, the license that covers all versions of the Linux operating system, guarantees users the right to modify and redistribute the source code, Duval's effort was about as simple as swapping motherboards in a PC...."

"Indeed. In less than 24 months, Linux-Mandrake has gone from a part-time hobby in Duval's Caen, France workshop to one of the top five Linux distributions. According to PC Data, by July of 1999 -- less than a full year after 5.1 release -- Linux-Mandrake 6.0 was already outperforming Red Hat in terms of total off-the-shelf sales...."

"Even more indicative, however, is the warm reception. Instead of being vilified as a knock-off, Linux-Mandrake 6.0 took awards for "Best Linux Product" and "Best Linux Distribution/Server," stealing the prize away from Red Hat 6.0 in both categories. Even those fully clued-in to the competitive implications of the GPL, have marveled at how quickly the market has responded in MandrakeSoft's favor."

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