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Mandriva announces acquisition of main Lycoris assets, new move on the desktop

June 15th 2005 - Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrakesoft, the publisher of the popular Mandriva Linux distribution, today announced an agreement to purchase several assets from Lycoris, a major North American Linux distribution for home users. As part of this agreement, Lycoris' founder and CEO Joseph Cheek is joining Mandriva to develop a new and advanced Linux desktop product.

Since its inception in the year 2000, Lycoris has established a solid reputation for developing easy to use and friendly operating systems targetted to the consumer market. For instance, Lycoris has released a full Linux OS - Desktop/LX - which is based on a high-quality graphical user interface and the Iris Software Gallery technology for easily adding new components to the system. Desktop/LX is often considered to be a realistic and affordable competitor to the Windows® and MacOS® operating systems, thus gaining large recognition from the American press.

Lycoris also pioneered unique Linux products for the mass market, such as a Tablet Edition and a Pocket PC edition of Lycoris Desktop/LX, which led to several partnerships with hardware vendors in Asia, including Dialogue and MoBits.

As a result of these successes, Lycoris developed a large base of users in only a few years. Paying members of this community of users number nearly 20,000. Based on the download statistics of the free products, one can estimate the overall user population to be several hundreds of thousands.

On the other hand, Mandriva, which was one of the first Linux distributions to care about the desktop and the user experience from its inception in 1998, was looking for an opportunity to accelerate the development of its desktop technologies which are key for Linux adoption both in the user land and corporate world.

Lycoris was a top candidate for this strategy, and thus Mandriva is extremely pleased to reach this agreement with Lycoris and to have Joseph Cheek joining the team.

The joint plan is now to develop a new product that will be the convergence between our Mandriva Discovery product and Lycoris Desktop/LX. Both teams have already started working on this product.

In parallel, the plan is to add into the Mandriva Club some of the unique features of the Iris Software Gallery and to create a specific space in the Club dedicated to the existing Iris Software Gallery and to welcome the former Lycoris.org user forum.

Joseph Cheek joins Mandriva to head the program that will drive these two projects.

"We are extremely happy that Joseph Cheek decided to join the Mandriva family. They bring a unique expertise in terms of desktop tools and some excellent products. Our goal is now to provide a path moving forward to the thousands of Desktop/LX users", said François Bancilhon, CEO of Mandriva.

Joseph Cheek added: "Lycoris is especially excited to be part of the new Mandriva team. Merging the unique qualities of our Desktop/LX product with Mandriva's excellent technology will enable both Desktop/LX and Mandriva users to enjoy a superior computing experience."

More details will soon follow about the new convergence product, as well as a release plan.

About Lycoris

Lycoris was founded in 2000 with a vision of making Linux simple enough for everyone. Lycoris packages Open Source applications for the consumer market and integrates them into Desktop/LX, its simple, robust operating system. Lycoris has enjoyed amazingly positive press coverage in Time Magazine and other publications. Lycoris is positioning itself as the leading provider of the best Linux based operating system specifically targeted for the desktop market, whether purchased separately or pre-installed on Desktop/LX PCs. The company is also the leader in the Linux Tablet arena, pioneering the first and so far only Linux-based Tablet PC operating system, Desktop/LX Tablet Edition. Lycoris sets the standard that all others follow. Visit Lycoris on the web at www.sociologyby.org.

Joseph Cheek's experience at both Linuxcare and Microsoft helped him learn how to merge a great user experience and open source software into a consistent whole.  Prior to his tenure at Linuxcare and Microsoft, Joseph had been a network consultant and a Caldera VAR.  His vision for the future of computing includes a time when open source enthusiasts enjoy all of the computing benefits typically found in more established commercial operating systems.

About Mandriva

Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrakesoft, is the publisher of the popular Mandriva Linux operating system, one of the most full-featured and easy to use Linux systems. The company offers its enterprise, government educational customers a complete range of GNU/Linux and Open Source software and related services. Mandriva products are available in more than 120 countries through dedicated channels and also from Mandrivastore.com, the company's online store. Number 1 in several countries, Mandriva has won many awards for quality and technical innovation. "Born on the Internet" in late 1998, has offices in the United States, France and Brazil. Mandriva is traded on Paris Euronext Marché Libre (ISIN Code: FR0004159382/MLMAN; Reuters code: MAKE.PA) and the US OTC market (stock symbol MDKFF).
http://www.mandriva.com

Press inquiries:

Gaël Duval <press at mandriva dot com> or call +33-1 40 41 67 67

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