This week Mandrake became the first major Linux distribution to fall into administration.
The survey finds around 88,000 sites running Mandrake, and the distribution also enjoys a reasonable following on the desktop.
The increasing availability and falling costs of high bandwidth connections have posed a question to the continuing relevance of the Linux distribution industry. In 1995 only the very determined would have downloaded the Linux operating system over a 28.8K connection rather than pay for a CD, but equiped with a cable or DSL connection, the CD becomes much more optional.
Mandrake compounded this scenario by some commercially curious behaviour, making freely downloadable images of each new release available over the internet well before their CD editions were available. Mandrake’s approach was popular but seemed to actively encourage people to download the new releases rather than buy CDs. More opportunistic companies have been able to sell CDs of new Mandrake releases for weeks before Mandrake’s own boxed sets became available.