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July 4, 2003

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Gaël Duval and Mike Angelo Discuss The HP-Mandrake Computer

HP to Ship Desktop PCs with Mandrake 9.1 Linux Pre-Installed

More Good News for Mandrake Linux and Fans

Mike Angelo -- 5 July 2003 (C) -- Page 2

Article Index

Gaël Duval Discusses the HP-Mandrake Computer

Here is more of our e-mail discussion with Gaël Duval about pre-installing Linux on computer systems.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Are any other OEMs shipping with Mandrake installed?

Gaël Duval: We are currently discussing other OEM deals with other OEMs.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Wasn't Walmart or someone else selling a box with Mandrake pre-installed and then discontinued that? If so, could you please explain the pros and cons of that deal?

Gaël Duval: Walmart/Microtel - it was an excellent advertising for us, but unfortunately these low-cost machines were only sold on-line (not in Walmart stores), and these sold mostly to "power users" (geeks), not "mum". Certainly because Linux is maybe not mature enough for this commercial target (and because of a lack of mainstream applications). For now, our agreement has been suspended, but maybe in the future we will do similar operations.

Gaël Duval: The HP deal focuses more on desktop/office for businesses, the real growing market today.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is HP shipping with any other Linux distros installed?

Gaël Duval: Not for desktop PCs . . . for servers.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Just what is installed on these boxes? Is it the basic installation? Is it the PowerPac? Is it the ProSuite? Or what?

Gaël Duval: It's a standard version of Mandrake 9.1 that is certified to run with the PC.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is HP supporting the Mandrake on the HP boxes or is Mandrake doing the support?

Gaël Duval: We do.

MozillaQuest Magazine: How does the billing work? Are you supporting it through HP on the HP boxes for some sort of fee to HP? Or are the customers working directly with Mandrake?

Gaël Duval: Customers can register on our website and they benefit from our support. Anyway, due to the certification process with HP machines, the requests for such support are likely to be low.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is there any amount of free support? Or do the customers have to pay for support from the get-go?

Gaël Duval: The support price is included in the PC price.

MozillaQuest Magazine: How does Mandrake being pre-installed on the boxes affect the buyers signing-up for other Mandrake services such as Mandrake Club?

Gaël Duval: These are different things, but of course we hope that users of Mandrake on HP machines will notice how attractive is the Mandrake Club :-)

MozillaQuest Magazine: Will these HP-Mandrake boxes be going to current MS Windows users? Or will they just be going to existing Linux users?

Gaël Duval: Desktop/office for businesses.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Do you see the pre-installed Linux as making Linux more competitive with MS Windows? If so, why?

Gaël Duval: It's a good case and the proof that there is a real demand. As a result, other PC makers should do the same in a near future!

MozillaQuest Magazine: Will the HP-Mandrake boxes be competing with the Walmart Lycoris boxes?

Gaël Duval: It's not the same thing. The HP/MandrakeSoft deal is based on a real demand on the market. It means the primary goal is to make money.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Would you say the more computers with Linux pre-installed the better for the Linux community, regardless of which Linux distribution is installed on the boxes?

Gaël Duval: Of course yes.

Wrap Up

This is not the first time Mandrake Linux has been pre-installed on computer systems by a major retailer or a computer system vendor. As Gaël Duval mentioned in our discussions, Walmart was selling Microtel systems with Mandrake Linux pre-installed. Walmart currently sells Microtel systems with the Lycoris Linux-based Desktop/LX operating system pre-installed.

Note: An e-mail was sent to Microsoft's PR firm, Waggener Edstrom, on 3 July providing Microsoft an opportunity to respond, through its PR firm, to the conclusions reached in this article that a Mandrake Linux 9.1 computer system is as good as, if not better than, an MS-Windows-based system. Waggener Edstrom failed to respond to that e-mail. We therefore were going to invoke our standard policy regarding the failure of sources to respond to questions and therefore deem Waggener Edstrom`s failure to deny our conclusion here to be an admission by Waggener Edstrom that a Mandrake Linux 9.1 computer system is as good as, if not better than, an MS-Windows-based system. However, many people in the U.S. left work early 3 July to get started on their 4th of July holiday (U.S.A. Independence Day). So we do not invoke that policy this time, for now. Nevertheless, if Waggener Edstrom fails to respond on Monday, 7 July 2003, look for an update here and application of the policy.

Nor is this the first time that HP has offered Linux-based computers. HP also sells some other systems with Linux pre-installed. There are other computer system vendors shipping boxes with GNU/Linux operating systems pre-installed, also.

Nevertheless, HP's announcement comes as good news for Mandrake, for Mandrake fans, for the Linux community, and for computer users in general. The more computer system vendors and OEMs that offer a pre-installed GNU/Linux operating system option the better.

Mandrake 9.1 is an excellent choice for pre-installed Linux computer systems. We compared Mandrake 9.0 to MS Windows as a primary operating system in our article, Mandrake Linux 9.0, Desktop Magic You Can Use: A First Look.

Mandrake 9.1 is even better than 9.0. You can use Mandrake Linux 9.1 as your primary, and perhaps only, operating system. Pre-installed on a good computer system, Mandrake Linux 9.1 ought to be as good as, if not better than, an MS-Windows-based computer system.

If you feel that you need to use any of the Microsoft Office applications such as Word or Excel, rather than the comparable, free, Linux applications such as AbiWord and OpenOffice, or the in-expensive StarOffice, you can install CodeWeavers CrossOver Office so that you can run the Microsoft Office applications on your HP-Mandrake Linux computer. In other words, you do not need to do Windows anymore.

<---- Back to Page 1

Meat of the HP Press-Release

HP Delivers Affordable, Reliable Microtower PC to Small- and Medium-sized Businesses

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 2, 2003--HP (NYSE:HPQ) today introduced an affordable, high-quality desktop PC for small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers: the HP Compaq Business Desktop d220 Microtower.

The microtower desktop features Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 or Celeron(R) processors and offers three PCI expansion slots, two double data rate (DDR) memory slots and five drive bays in a compact microtower platform, allowing for expansion or future upgrades.

"Our SMB customers are looking to maximize their IT investment, and the combination of low purchase price and consistent, reliable performance in the HP Compaq d220 provides value-seeking businesses a solid platform choice," said Keith LeFebvre, vice president of business desktop division, Americas, HP Personal Systems Group.

The HP Compaq Business Desktop d220 is designed to keep IT simple, with the choice of customizable or pre-configured solutions optimized for affordability and quality. Customized solutions, available beginning July 7, start at an estimated U.S. street price of $349(1) with an Intel Celeron 2.0-gigahertz processor, 40-gigabyte hard drive and 128-megabyte DDR SDRAM. Customers also can opt for an Intel Pentium 4 2.4-gigahertz processor, 40-gigabyte hard drive and 128-megabyte DDR SDRAM for as low as an estimated U.S. street price of $499(1).

For customers interested in pre-configured solutions with an Intel Celeron 2.0-gigahertz processor, pricing starts at an estimated $429(1). Or, for customers requiring additional processing power, the HP Compaq d220 is available pre-configured with a 2.4-gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 40-gigabyte hard drive, 512-megabyte DDR SDRAM, integrated Intel Extreme Graphics, DVD+RW/CD-RW combo drive, six USB 2.0 ports and Microsoft Windows(R) XP Professional -- priced at an estimated U.S. street price of only $799(1).

HP Compaq desktops are available with the latest operating systems from the industry leader, Microsoft, as well as a robust Linux offering from Mandrake. The HP Compaq d220 offers a choice of Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home or Mandrake's Linux v9.1, providing customers with the versatility needed for today's mixed-use environments.

The HP Compaq Business Desktop d220 Microtower is now available directly from HP or through authorized resellers. More information about the product is available at

(1) Actual prices may vary.

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