MandrakeSoft Files for Bankruptcy Protection

By Timothy R. Butler | Posted at 12:48 PM
MandrakeSoft, the developer of the popular Mandrake Linux distribution, declared bankruptcy in France today. The filling, which the company says is "similar to the U.S. Chapter 11-Reorganization," is hoped to help the company escape the financial issues that have plagued the company over the past few years.

Editor's Note: Several people have suggested that this article gives the impression that MandrakeSoft has gone out of business. This is definitely not the case. The company is hoping to use these proceedings to escape various debts so that it can continue operations. This announcement seems to be the culmination of rumors over the past few days about the future of MandrakeSoft. Earlier this week various media outlets reported that an internal memo from Chairman and former CEO Jacques Le Marois, that discussed an upcoming bankruptcy filling, was circulating. As late as yesterday, company co-founder Gaël Duval was attempting damage control, telling NewsForge that the company was considering several different actions and that several investors had made "offers" to the company.

The move was not totally unexpected, with the Paris, France, developer issuing an urgent plea for financial assistance back in December. While many had condemned such statements from the company, it was hoped that users of the free, downloadable version of Mandrake Linux would join the MandrakeClub (a nice service that provides various downloads, access to developer interviews, and, most recently, the ability to vote on which packages should be in release 9.1) in lieu of purchasing a shrink-wrapped version of the operating system.

According to the press release issued by MandrakeSoft earlier today, the schedule for Mandrake Linux 9.1 should stay on course. Incidentally, the first beta of that release was made available last week to those interested in previewing the system's new upgrades.

In September, Open for Business discussed MandrakeSoft's future with Mr. Duval, an that interview you can find here. For further information, you can find the recent request for financial assistance here and today's statement here.

We will continue to report the latest information as it becomes available to us.