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Mandrake Targeting US Linux Market

The United States market for Linux support got more crowded Tuesday after French Linux vendor Mandrakesoft announced a partner program and a new line of Linux servers for the SMB (small to medium business) market in the U.S.

The Mandrakelinux Solution Provider Program offers both technical and marketing support for U.S.-based partners. Mandrake said it is providing a dedicated technical support team that is tasked with helping answer customer questions about Linux and open source software.

As part of the offering, partners also get to order pre-installed Mandrakelinux systems, a pair of which was also unveiled today. The two new servers, Mandrakelinux Dedicated File Server and the Mandrakelinux Dedicated Email Gateway with spam and virus filtering, are part of the new Mandrakelinux Dedicated Server Series. The servers are targeted at the SMB market and promise to offer easy Microsoft Windows migration. The servers are only available via Mandrakelinux Solution Providers for $750 with no CPU or usage restrictions.

"We believe the SMB market is currently underserved in terms of Linux offerings," Maria Winslow, program manager at Mandrakesoft, told internetnews.com. "Our new products and approach are designed to reach out to the mainstream small and mid-sized market through relationships with IT services companies already serving those customers."

In Winslow's opinion, the new Mandrake offering fills a need that neither Red Hat nor Novell/SUSE currently offers in the U.S.-based markets.

"Red Hat has focused on the enterprise market, with Novell working to compete with them in that space," Winslow explained. "We expect there will be room in the marketplace as Linux rises in popularity for standard business use."

Mandrake started the New Year off by unveiling a new corporate server and a corporate desktop as part of a revamped enterprise strategy.