Mandriva/TurboLinux partnership raises questions

By   |  January 17, 2008

Mandriva and TurboLinux this week announced their partnership to create Manbo-Labs, months after its inception. The partnership, which began last October but was only announced publicly this week after its first internal delivery, will see the two companies sharing resources and technology to produce a common base system for their Linux distros.

The delay in the announcement is particularly interesting, especially for the fact that last October was also the month that Microsoft and TurboLinux entered into a collaboration agreement, complete with the ever-dubious patent agreements.

Seeing as Mandriva had refused to enter such an agreement with Microsoft, it may have wanted the dust to settle on the Microsoft/TurboLinux deal before going public on the partnership. This was probably worsened by the fact that it was in open conflict with Microsoft over a deal with the Nigerian government. Mandriva accused the Redmondians of hijacking the deal, but eventually won the contract.

The announcement, which was filled with the usual PR-style quotes of how delighted and excited they are, made mention of their intention to pool resources and expand their client bases. As Mandriva focuses primarily on the European and African market and TurboLinux on the Asian market, they obviously do not feel they will be edging into each other’s turf.

Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring will be the first distro to use this common base, which is expected to be ready for release in April.

The new common base will be released under the GPL license and the companies have expressed their wish to open the partnership to other RPM-based Linux distributions editors.

It will be interesting to see just how the intellectual property agreement between TurboLinux and Microsoft will effect this partnership.

While the new common base is to be released under the GPL, there is no mention of which version. If it is under version 3, which was modified to respond to the threat of such patent deals, then the base should theoretically be untainted. (go < ahref=”http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=1773″ target=_new>here to read more about the licence) If it is under version 2, which Microsoft’s patent deals manage to slink their way around, then this may be a case of yet another Linux distro becoming tainted by the Redmond giant’s expansive reach.

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