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MandrakeSoft crisis: What should we a a community do?

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What is MandrakeSoft's situation right now?

 

I am not familiar with French law, but generally these types of laws share some common elements and I have worked on several similar cases in my own country. With that disclaimer made, they have debts which have fallen due or about to become payable and they do not have enough cash flow to service these debts.

 

MandrakeSoft has admitted as much in their appeal for funds last December.

 

In order to get survive they will have to convince creditors (or a French court) that they will be able to pay of these debts in a reasonable time, if they are allowed to restructure their current obligations.

 

 

 

Does this mean that MandrakeSoft is not a viable business?

 

No, it does not. It is possible that MandrakeSoft does not financialy viable business model and thus even if given enough funds to pay it's current debts that it will again be in the same situation it is in today after another year or so. The other possibility is that its core business is financialy viable but it made an investment into another related or unrelated business which resulted in a one time, but significant, loss.

 

Given MandrakeSofts, apparently expensive and failed investment in E-Learning the second situation is a definite posibility.

 

 

 

What has MandrakeSoft ask for?

 

They have asked for our financial support.

 

There is one thing I want to find out first. I would like to find out whether MandrakeSofts case falls under the first or second scenerio above, without projections for an increased market share, member base or any additional income other than what they are currently making. Basically, I guess I would want to know if widespread user support is needed to overcome a one time obstacle or whether that would simple result in pouring in more funds to a lost cause.

 

Basically, I am not a pauper, but neither am I rolling in cash. If a part with my own funds, I want to know if there is a reasonble chance of success.

 

 

What is Mandraksoft really asking for?

 

Basically US$2,000,000. Assuming that all of their 20,000 club members, our 1000 members here and maybe 4,000 others from different groups all pitched in... well thats about US$80. More realiatisitically, since 100% support is unlikely, maybe US$200 each.

 

 

Will Mandrake Linux survive?

 

Yes. Since its software is GPL'ed, it is likely that someone would continue developing this distro even if MandrakeSoft closed its doors. Given all the innovations of the ML distro, I am sure that MandrakeSoft's programmers will find employment with other Linux developers... and you will see likely see Mandrake's innovations in these other distro's.

 

This is good and bad. We wont loose ML if MandrakeSoft folds, this also means that some people would feel that there is little incentive in saving MandrakeSoft.

 

 

The touchy part.

 

Assuming we all pooled together and came up with $100,000-200,000, would we be better of forking it over to MandrakeSoft, or would we be better of using that money to continue the development of Mandrake Linux (under a different name).

 

Assmuning we could pool together $2,000,000... would we not be better of funding a new company staffed by MandrakeSoft's programmers and owned by the community?

 

I know what I wrote is somewhat tactless... if you feel a need to reply harshly I wont take it against anyone.

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1) Buy packages at local retailers or order it if they don't stock it to prove demand for the product.

2) Sit back and wait.

2) Do not send any money to any part of Mandrakesoft until the bankruptcy court approves a plan of reorganization.

 

Counterspy

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Ditto, Counterspy.

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Just informational...

 

All the stores here in Seattle carry 8.2

 

9.0 hasn't arrived to them yet

 

I haven't seen 9.0 in dicksmith in New Zealand either still 8.2

You can get the free downloadable edition at some places, but mandrake won't see a cent of that. :cry:

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Yes, the retailers are behind because of the lag time on demand for linux. I am going to buy the next release at a retailer, and I'm going to ask them for a current release. We all should consider buying retail in order to increase the demand.

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Okay will check again to see if ML9 is available at the local retailer. Last time I checked they had 8.0 and 8.1.

 

I had a friend pick up a copy for me in Paris last October-November (wanted to save on the shipping cost) but she was not able to find one.

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Okay will check again to see if ML9 is available at the local retailer. Last time I checked they had 8.0 and 8.1.

 

I had a friend pick up a copy for me in Paris last October-November (wanted to save on the shipping cost) but she was not able to find one.

 

Howver, buying a copy from a reseller will not directly help MandrakeSoft because it has already been paid for this copy. It would help them because the reseller is more like to place a re-order or an order for ML9.

 

I have been trying to answer some of my own questions.

 

http://www.mandrakesoft.com/company/invest...letter/sn021206

 

From the information of the link, it looks like MandrakeSoft incurred its major losses in 2000-2001, due to their investments in E-Learning and E-Support.

 

Operating espenses were cut dramatically in 2001-2002, and there is a fair chance that they will break even in 2002-2003. However, a good result in 2002-2003 (if it follows the increase in in the previous 2 years), would probably not bail MandrakeSoft out of its current financial problems.

 

On the other hand, it looks like, except their having ventured in E-Learnign and E-Support, they would have not found themselves in this situation.

 

"Our current cash needs are approximately 4ME ($4M USD). This level of cash infusion would resolve outstanding debts, cover the expenses needed to become profitable, plus secure an extra amount to satisfy the needs of future growth.

 

In order to solve this cash issue, MandrakeSoft has been conducting a Warrant operation since May 28th, 2002. This operation offers an extremely convenient way for current shareholders to purchase shares at a low price (2.1E/$2.1).

 

It should be noted that before the launch of this operation, MandrakeSoft already had a commitment from a large investor for $4M. This fund expected to receive its funding before July 2002, but has been postponed.

 

So, the issues are:

 

# The warrant operation has been slower than expected due to potential shareholders being wary of the volatility of the current financial markets

# The investor's fund has experienced delays in receiving its funding. We've just been informed that it still will not receive funding in the short term so we cannot rely on him for the current funding

# We are also in discussion with several interested investors but those things takes time

 

Additionally, we have yet another commitment for about 30% of a 4ME investment round, but to close this round we must find at least a 2ME ($2M USD) complement."

 

The amount they need is actuall around US$4million and not the US$2million I mentioned in my earlier post. But raising US$2million in capital, would result in another investor making a US$1.2 million investment.

 

I find the information they give out on the web a bit vague, but I guess investors get better information.

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I would imagine that ordering online from Mandrake themselves would be handy, cus then the money you spent would reflect a lot quicker?

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I think there are two reasons for not ordering directly from Mandrakesoft.

 

1) Think of a situation where you're suddenly threatened with loss of employment or expulsion from school. This is on top of the problems already well documented everywhere there is a discussion of Mandrakesoft's situation. We have no way of knowing what is going on and although the law takes some time to engage (see post on the law), there can be little doubt that a degree of chaos reigns in the store. It has not yet filled all the back orders judging from the complaints. This is a period of high anxiety, threat and uncertainty for everyone there and will remain so until they emerge from court protection with a clean slate or are ordered into bankruptcy and the curtain finally falls.

 

2) There needs to be a retail demand for their product since it is highly unlikely that an enterprise sales increase is likely in the current circumstances. Going to your local retailer and buying or ordering Mandrake Linux is a better and safer horse to put your money on when we do not know exactly what will happen to money sent directly to the company until the court approves a plan of reorganization. Marketing, distribution and sales has also been one of the biggest corporate problems they have. In other posts here, people have not been able to find version 9.0 on store shelves. By asking them to order, I believe you are helping them in uncountable ways.

 

In a word, nobody can honestly tell you what is happening/going to happen unless they have been through this in France under the current law and then only in the specific terms that they have experienced. For the rest of us it is wait and see while we continue to make this board THE place to go for help for those who have already chosen.

 

Counterspy

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Scheizer. Didn't know all that.

 

Problem is, where I live, you can't find Mandrake in a box for love or money.

Guess I'll just have to wait it out.

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Why cannot Mandrake sell download comercial versions? I realize one of the big reasons to buy the boxed set is the manuals, but I would buy and burn the commercial version if they sold it in that way. Ive seen it done this way before if you buy the download it is i $30 and if you but the commercial it is $50 for example.

 

This is based off of that I think some of the commercial apps are included with the comercial version

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FYI:

 

Local PCWorld stores carry stock of MDK9; Powerpack @ £30, Pro-suite @£60 and the full sever setup for £130.

I had to hunt to find them, RH was well displayed and catered for, next in line was SuSe and Mandrake fell behind a load of MS Me boxes :twisted:

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Yes. Since its software is GPL'ed, it is likely that someone would continue developing this distro even if MandrakeSoft closed its doors. Given all the innovations of the ML distro, I am sure that MandrakeSoft's programmers will find employment with other Linux developers... and you will see likely see Mandrake's innovations in these other distro's.

 

I'm sure texstar would pick it up and continue his milenium falcon distro....... :lol:

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Guest BlackSnow

The Mandrake source code is safe...It doesn't really matter what happens to the iresponsible company. Yes they have a good Disto, but there are hundreds of good distros out there.

 

Im all for supporting them and that but at the end of the day, i think i'd rather give money to the FSF. I believe it would benifit the GNU/Linux world more.

 

If the worst happens, then this board would just cater all distribution users not just a single one - no big deal.

 

Remember, the software is safe, another project can pick it up and even make it better...it doesn't really matter if we lose Mandrake (the company). They have a solid distro anyway which could last for years alone.

 

Just my opinion.

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