Mandriva Regains Nigeria Deal From Microsoft

    November 9, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

A decision to wipe 11,000 machines of their shipped Mandriva Linux operating system and replace it with Windows XP for Nigerian schools received a reversal that should please Mandriva’s CEO.

Someone break out the champagne for Francois Bancilhon, CEO of Mandriva. He had blogged his anger with Microsoft counterpart Steve Ballmer over what Bancilhon suggested were dirty tactics in gaining business with Nigeria.

Mandriva Regains Nigeria Deal From Microsoft

Bancilhon’s Mandriva won the contract to place its OS on thousands of arriving Intel Classmate PCs. But a change took place that vexed Bancilhon: Nigeria would pay for the Mandriva licenses as agreed, but the OS would be wiped and replaced with Windows XP.

That change meant Mandriva would lose out on maintenance agreements, which would contribute an ongoing revenue stream to the company. Open Source companies like Red Hat and others have demonstrated this business model can make "free" software profitable.

Mandriva Regains Nigeria Deal From Microsoft

Now the winds of fortune have shifted in Bancihlon’s favor. InfoWorld reported the company that planned to do the OS change before distributing the computers won’t be doing so.

A government official from the agency funding the computer purchase said in the report, "we are sticking with (Mandriva)," but offered no other details.

The motivation for the original shift will have to remain a matter of speculation, despite Bancilhon’s hinting of back-door shenanigans taking place.