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Mandrakesoft signs a distribution agreement with the French Ministry of Education and Research

Wednesday March 02 2005

Paris, March 2nd 2005 - Mandrakesoft today announced an agreement with the French Ministry of Education and Research which allows the distribution of its line of products and services to Higher Education institutions, including universities and research laboratories, throughout France. The agreement also makes it easy for students and workers from these institutions to purchase Mandrakesoft products for their private use.

From now on, computing departments of universities and research institutions will have the ability to tap into Mandrakesoft's portfolio of products and services for their software needs. Mandrakelinux products cover needs from the desktop (with the Powerpack) to critical infrastructure functions (with the Multi Network Firewall). The Multi Network Firewall operating system is able to control access to both an organisation's private intranet and the public internet. Mandrakesoft products are part of the software library which has been selected to modernize the infrastructure of France's education system. As well as the applications themselves, Mandrakesoft will deliver technical support and training to staff.

A spokesman for the ministry explained: "Aside from the cost savings allowed by Linux, this agreement aims to encourage the use of software solutions that are based on open standards and can be easily integrated into public standards-driven infrastructures. The ability to modify or customize the applications purchased is important to us."

Students, particularly in computing courses, engineering schools and research departments, are among the groups the most accustomed to using open source software. Many researchers already use open source applications for scientific tasks. Familiarizing students with Linux during their education will further foster the building of a knowledge society based on open technologies in a heterogeneous computing environment.

"We've been working with the Ministry of Education for more than five years. This agreement is an acknowledgement of the high standard of our products. What we see is that Linux is increasingly being adopted as an alternative to the all-proprietary choice of the past," commented François Bancilhon, Mandrakesoft CEO. "What better support could we bring to students and researchers, who are the primary members of a knowledge economy, than open computing, allowing everyone to customize tools for their specific needs?"

The catalog of software covered by the agreement includes the newly released Corporate Server and Corporate Desktop, two applications that enable universities and research bodies to build a stable yet flexible infrastructure, immune to viruses.

About Mandrakesoft

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

Press enquiries:
Gaël Duval
press at mandrakesoft dot com
+33-1 40 41 00 41