In the last days some clients and partners contacted us at Caixa Magica to get our opinion about the rumors about Mandriva being sold... which is kind of understandable as we share the base packages with Mandriva and have a long-term partnership.
1.- Although not knowing the Mandriva's financial situation, we know that is a great distribution, with a great team of developers and an important european IT SME.
It's normal the buy & sell rumors and it's even good that it happens. Shows the strength of the market.
In 2007 we decided to join efforts with Mandriva, sharing the code base and, at our scale, giving back contributions that would enrich the overall distro.
If we could go back, we would do the same choice.
2.- Caixa Mágica has its own packaging platform and have internal resources to provide update on the current and future versions of Linux Caixa Mágica.
In fact, as result of our investment in research & development (MANCOOSI, EDOS,...), we have a in-house developed packaging platform with awesome features. Beyond the state-of-the-art, ContribWare is a platform with a backend cluster that we use for the official and community package building workflow.
This platform is enriched with Quality Assurance tools to guarantee that we deliver a rock solid distribution. Our users know and appreciate our permanently updated repository monitoring and our Package error reporting platform.
3.- When people prefer Linux what they want is the Linux kernel, Postfix, MySQL, Open Office, Gnome and KDE, X.org, and all the good open source projects at the application layer.
We, Linux distributions, should aim to deliver it in a secure and easy way to the end-user.
Today, the differences among Linux distributions are really not in the application packages and their updates but the installation and configuration tools, the community, ...
That added-value is great but let's not forget that between Ubuntu and Fedora, SuSE and Caixa Mágica, we are what we are because we have stood on "the shoulders of giants.". The upstream projects.
It was not difficult in 2007 for us to change our base from SuSE to Mandriva because the added-value of Caixa Mágica remains in our ability and tools to deliver our users the upstream software.
At Caixa Mágica, we have working a lot with other distributions besides Mandriva and share some parts with them too.
For instance, our package installer is Apt and our graphical tool for package installation is Synaptic. In MANCOOSI, we work side-by-side with Debian fellows, such as the current Debian Project Leader, and we have learned a lot with them.
4.- There is a growing market for Linux distributions and open source specialists.
Red Hat is doing fine. SuSE is doing fine. Caixa Mágica is doing fine.
We reached our break-even in 2007 and our revenues are growing since then. For Caixa Mágica, 2009 was a great year in all our business units and we are finding that this global crisis is suited for companies like us that sells technology, enterprise platforms and services not because the client is tied up but because we are price and quality competitive.