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Mandrake won't be joining the UnitedLinux initiative, inspired by Caldera and involving SuSE, and it's said why.

In a statement, Mandrake rejects the idea that Linux is 'fragmented' in the way that UNIX failed to achieve common standards in the 1980s. Quite rightly too - the Linux Standards Base project has got further, faster than the various POSIX committees did, and Linux doesn't have the complications of ancestral politics of UNIX™'s dual heritage: AT&T Labs and Berkeley.

Mandrake stresses the benefits of competition, and interestingly, points to continuing collaboration with Red Hat.

The UnitedLinux initiative allows four smaller distros to cut overheads by pooling their resources, but it's a strictly server-only for now. Mandrake's focus is on the desktop, so it isn't hard to see how Mandrake thinks it loses more than it gains by joining the project at this stage.

"MandrakeSoft would gain nothing by joining United Linux, and doing so would damage our reputation," it adds, before pointing out that in volume terms, it's already bigger than the four UnitedLinux members combined.

It's not making money, however, but says that it expects to reach break-even by the end of the year.

Mandrake's statement is here. ®

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