Mandrakesoft on Monday announced it will release a transitional Linux product as it absorbs technology from Conectiva, a Brazilian Linux company it acquired in February.
The French company also announced that it is slowing down the release cycle—now to take place annually—on its Mandrakelinux products in order to give itself and its channel partners more time to develop new features and functions. Mandrakesoft has also concocted a new naming scheme, with products being named after a given year.
The company wrote in a release that the changes are motivated by requests from partners and distributors for a more convenient release cycle.
"For a long time, distributors and resellers have asked us to adopt a longer release cycle that is more adapted to their specific constraints," the release reads.
Mandrakesoft has also received user and customer requests to slow things down, according to the release.
Stacey Quandt, a senior business analyst for Robert Frances Group, said the companys move to an annual release cycle is designed not only to meet the needs of end users, partners and resellers, but also to follow the strategy of competitors Red Hat Inc. and SuSE Linux AG to help IT executives align Linux with business objectives—a move that will be particularly helpful for small to medium-sized businesses that desire alternatives to Red Hat and SuSE.
The transitional version of Mandrakelinux, Limited Edition 2005, will be released sometime in the spring.
The new version will provide up-to-date and newly released open-source software, including KDE 3.3, GNOME 2.8 and Firefox 1.0.1.
It will be available as a DVD and a CD set through Mandrakestore and Mandrakeclub, and will be downloadable.
Limited Edition 2005 will not be available via retail channels, however. Nor will support and services be offered for the product.
By the fall of this year, a new, boxed release, named 2006, will fully integrate Conectiva technology and Mandrakesoft online services.
That product will be released via retail channels as well as directly from Mandrakestore and Mandrakeclub and will offer all support options and related services.
Both the Limited Edition 2005 and the 2006 versions will be released in 32- and 64-bit editions.
The release of a transitional version of Mandrakelinux that supports open-source packages such as KDE 3.3, GNOME 2.8 and Firefox 1.0.1 will be appreciated by developers, Quandt said.