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January 24, 2004

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Great News for Mandrake Linux Fans

Mandrake Linux Shows Profit -- End to Bankruptcy Near

24 January 2004 (C)

To learn why Linux is so much a better choice than is Microsoft Windows, please see our article Gaël Duval Tells Why Mandrake Linux Is Better Than MS Windows

To learn how to run MS Windows-based software and accessories in GNU-Linux, please see our article Crossover Office 2.1 Runs MS Windows Software on GNU-Linux Systems

Office on the Linux Desktop

OpenOffice 1.1 -- A Complete Office/Productivity Software Suite for GNU-Linux, FreeBSD, MAC, MS-Windows, Unix, and more

Gross margin:

Gross income divided by net sales, expressed as a percentage. Gross margins reveal how much a company earns taking into consideration the costs that it incurs for producing its products and/or services. In other words, gross margin is equal to gross income divided by net sales, and is expressed as a percentage. Gross margin is a good indication of how profitable a company is at the most fundamental level. Companies with higher gross margins will have more money left over to spend on other business operations, such as research and development or marketing. Source: (link in the Resources section at the end of this article.)

For the first time in five years MandrakeSoft, which produces the very popular Mandrake Linux distribution, has shown a quarterly profit. Perhaps even better, it now appears that MandrakeSoft will be out of its bankruptcy in March 2004.

Mandrake's co-founder, Gaël Duval, announced yesterday that MandrakeSoft's results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2003/2004 . . . [show] the first profitable quarter since fiscal year 1998/99!

The financial data is for MandrakeSoft's fiscal quarter starting 1 October 2003 and ending 31 December 2003. Gaël Duval told MozillaQuest Magazine via e-mail yesterday that MandrakeSoft's revenues are up and it is reporting a $340,000 US profit for the fiscal quarter.

Mandrake's reported profit is based primarily upon increased revenues from services, OEM sales, and on-line sales. Mandrake managed to keep costs down without dropping any products. It did, however, have to layoff some employees.

Here is some of the e-mail discussion with Gaël Duval:

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is the increase in revenues from selling more copies of Mandrake Linux or is it from additional revenue sources such as the Mandrake book, Mandrake Club, support services, or what?

Gaël Duval: It's mostly more services (club), more OEM sales, and different sale mix (less retail, more on-line sales).

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is the increase in profitability from increased revenues or from decreased costs?

Gaël Duval: Both: according to [the 23 January 2004 MandrakeSoft Shareholder Newsletter] revenue has grown of +8.4%, and gross margin (which is linked to decreased costs) has grown of +28.9%.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Did you have to lay-off employees to get into the profit side of the ledger?

Gaël Duval: Yes.

MozillaQuest Magazine: What is the status of the Mandrake bankruptcy?

Gaël Duval: A demand has been posted to leave the status, with expected leaving date of early March.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Have you all cut back any on product offerings?

Gaël Duval: No, we haven't dropped any product from our line of products.

Editorial Note

Gaël Duval and the entire Mandrake Linux crew deserve lots of credit! Mandrake Linux ran into some financial problems and had to seek bankruptcy protection. The Mandrake folks rolled-up their sleeves, and set about to keep Mandrake Linux alive and financially well. And they have done it.

Not surprisingly the Mandrake Linux crew got lots of help from the GNU-Linux community too. Mandrake has been a significant contributor to the GNU-Linux community and a leader in desktop Linux development and promotion. Mandrake has been instrumental in the growth of the GNU-Linux operating system and software portfolio and the growth of GNU-Linux deployment and installed base. What goes around comes around.

Congratulations to all the Mandrake people and the members of the Linux community that helped to keep Mandrake Linux alive, and to make it financially well again.

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