Today MandrakeSoft announced that it was acquiring Conectiva, which was hailed as a merger of second-tier Linux sellers. A bit uncharitable, perhaps, but an apt description. Second-tier doesn't describe their products, but even as a joint venture the two companies are much smaller than either Red Hat or SUSE.
All I can say is it's about time. The Linux distribution market has been in desperate need of consolidation for some time. Separately, Conectiva and MandrakeSoft were simply too small to effectively compete against Red Hat or Novell/SUSE. Even combined, the companies really don't offer much of a threat to the two tier-one players in the Linux market.
MandrakeSoft should be looking at acquiring or merging with the other members of the Linux Core Consortium, if they're not already. During today's conference call, Franois Bancilhon, MandrakeSoft's CEO, didn't comment on talks with the other members, but noted that "this market is ready for some level of consolidation."
I couldn't agree more. The best opportunity for MandrakeSoft, TurboLinux, Progeny and Conectiva is to join together to offer an internationalized, LSB-compliant distribution along the lines of Progeny's Componentized Linux.
What do you think? Is consolidation the answer, or will Novell and Red Hat have the little guys for lunch?