Will all this mean that Mandrakesoft will finally make an impression on the business market? Stacey Quandt, senior business analyst and open-source practice leader for the Robert Frances Group, thinks that it does. "The combination of pricing pressure and consolidation on Linux distribution providers is beneficial for Mandrakesoft, since it competes against the higher cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux product and offers a distribution that tailors its engineering road map to the latest kernel development and testing efforts," said Quandt.But, "the primary caveat for businesses deploying Mandrakesoft is its not considered a Tier 1 Linux distribution by a number of software vendors and so ISV certification usually trails Red Hat and SuSE," said Quandt.Dan Kusnetzky, IDC program vice president for system software, also points out that "medium and large organizations are looking to their software suppliers for more than just software. Their requirements include software service and support, integration with major applications, application development tools, and hardware platforms. Mandrakesoft has some catching up to do in those areas." That being said, Kusnetzky concluded, "if Mandrakesoft can bring products and services to the market that help organizations lower their costs, simplify their environments, and offer high levels of reliability and performance, Mandrakesoft can make a place for itself at the table." Mandrakesoft is aware of the magnitude of what its attempting to do in making a major move to become a serious business Linux distributor. "Its quite challenging to design enterprise products because the needs of businesses are more difficult to assess and to cater for. But weve listened to our customers, weve dedicated the necessary time and resources to the task, and now I must say were quite proud of what has been achieved," said François Bancilhon, Mandrakesofts CEO, in a statement. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.