"MandrakeSoft will begin selling a new version of its Linux
software Monday, but the company is shifting away from product
sales to a business model more like that of Red Hat, the dominant
"The new version 7.2 of Linux Mandrake comes with features that
are designed to appeal to the small and medium business market,
chief executive Henri Poole said in an interview Friday. ... Among
the new features are Drak Gateway, software that allows networks of
computers to share a Mandrake computer's Internet connection. The
new version also has the Cups printing system and lets people on
the road synchronize files, he said."
"It's very difficult to charge a lot of money for a product
that's available for free," Poole said. "We expect most of our
revenue in the long term to come from services. ... It is very
tough. There are issues of margins and scalability when you're in a
services organization," Poole said. "Before I joined MandrakeSoft,
I was in the professional services business. It took a long time to
grow a company with 100 consultants in it."
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