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Mandrake Policy Change Angers Users

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the seasons-change dept.

Mandriva 246

phalse phace writes "Yahoo! News is carrying a ZDNet News article which reveals that Mandrake has decided to change its policy regarding its Mandrake Club. Previously, Mandrake stated that all membership levels would enjoy the same benefits. But since Mandrake Linux 8.2 will include StarOffice 6.0 and Sun is charging for it, they decided to only allow the download of SO 6.0 to Silver members and higher."

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Email from Hemos about the OSDN Navbar (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212435)

I got this in email today. Is this legit?

Dear Subscriber,

As you may have noticed, the OSDN navbar has grown in size. Although we here at Slashdot have an assful of bugs resulting from garage-style ad-hoc open sores development, this is not a bug.

This is a feature.

Allow me to explain. It seems that our subscription model was ill conceived. If Slashdot gets as much money from subscribers as non-subscribers, then the advertisement views have shrunk by the amount of subscribers, with no benefit to us whatsoever.

This was clearly a brain-dead plan because now our advertisers have a smaller audience and therefore pay us less.

The irony is that we were thinking "gee, we are glad we got away from the ads-only model" when in fact, we ourselves have killed the effectiveness of this model.

Therefore we must being to increase both the size of the ads and the size of the OSDN navbar, effective immediately. Both subscribers and non-subscribers will be subjected to the new large OSDN navbar.

We have taken our cue from MandrakeSoft and followed their lead with their subscription model; we hope you learn to like it.

Slashdot Editors

OpenOffice? (4, Insightful)

zapfie (560589) | about 12 years ago | (#3212438)

Instead of bothering with licencing fees related to StarOffice, why not just include OpenOffice? They're the same codebase, right?

Re:OpenOffice? (3, Insightful)

goldid (310307) | about 12 years ago | (#3212444)

Indeed. The question is important to ask: why support StarOffice? If you're an open source firm, and your revenue base is fragile, why would you start including other people's software which costs? If peple want StarOffice, let them go get it. Mandrake can include OpenOffice, KOffice, or many different individual products/projects such as AbiWord. There is no reason to have StarOffice in the distro.

Perhaps its because (4, Interesting)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3212496)

Mandrake read slashdot and saw posts about how they had no business plan, and how they were begging and blah blah blah, perhaps they are actually making Mandrake club a legit Redhat style service now.

Why include open office? Business users dont want Open Office they want STAR OFFICE.

People complain when Mandrakesoft is too fair, then they complain when Mandrakesoft does the same thing Redhat and everyone else is doing.

People, subscribe, or shut up.

Re:Perhaps its because (2, Interesting)

Pave Low (566880) | about 12 years ago | (#3212647)

you seem to have a psychic's ability to read into what mandrake and business users want.

well, you are just speculating and talking straight out of your ass. how many business users want something outside of MS Office? In my actually experience (which you seem to have none) it's almost nobody.

telling people to shut up or subscribe is plain idiotic. how about those subscribed thinking they were getting one thing than it gets changed later?

Yeah, I mean why would anyone ever use linux anywa (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3212796)

I mean no businesses use linux. Why would anyone need staroffice

Re:Yeah, I mean why would anyone ever use linux an (1)

Pave Low (566880) | about 12 years ago | (#3212895)

I mean no businesses use linux. Why would anyone need staroffice

comparing linux vs. other os's and staroffice vs. ms office is not even close to the same. whereas different OS's are better suited to some tasks than others, all office suites serve the same purpose. plus there is almost no reason (aside from cost) for anyone to not choose ms office, and maybe wordperfect in some circles. anyways cost is not an overriding concern when business by these products.

so sarcasm notwithstanding, you are correct. Why would anyone need staroffice indeed?

Re:Perhaps its because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212731)

Hrrmmm... Ok, Slashdot is fun, but THAT important?!

Any manager willing to judge his business decisions on the Scores here at Slashdot (no offense meant) ought to be fired.

Re:OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212506)

In the long run the current situation is hopeless. Open source companies will go out of business, the honeymoon with VC money is over.

And without other companies making professional software THEY (mandrake) will soon go out of business.

The software market is not a one-man-show.

Re:OpenOffice? (4, Informative)

bero-rh (98815) | about 12 years ago | (#3212448)

They are the same codebase, but unfortunately the codedrop to OpenOffice was incomplete.
e.g. the Adabas database is missing because it was licensed from a 3rd party, which didn't agree to open the code.

While OpenOffice is preferrable for most things,
there are a couple of people who need StarOffice until
there are free replacements for the missing parts.

Re:OpenOffice? (1)

WetCat (558132) | about 12 years ago | (#3212539)

Ahh... adabas. Who ever needs it if we have PostgreSQL and MySQL?

Re:OpenOffice? (3, Insightful)

bero-rh (98815) | about 12 years ago | (#3212554)

People who want a GUI.
While PostgreSQL and MySQL may be technically superior, none of them
provides an easy to use database editor yet, especially not if
you don't have a privileged account in the db ("create database").
(Think of M$ converts looking for a replacement to M$ Access).
There are some projects to provide an easier frontend for PostgreSQL and/or MySQL,
but none of them are really ready for prime time yet.

Re:OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212671)

Actually Adabus is now called SapDB and is open source (I think GPL).

Re:OpenOffice? (2)

blkros (304521) | about 12 years ago | (#3212462)

Exactly. Plus, I feel, if you pay more, you should get more, anyways. So you can still download open office no matter what level you are, and if you gave the company more money, you can get Star office, personally I feel this is quite fair, and will probably cost less than buying Star from Sun.

That's not the issue... (2, Insightful)

Leomania (137289) | about 12 years ago | (#3212709)

Users who joined at $60 per month did so under the explicit statement that "all members enjoy the same benefits". Now that's been changed to include the word "almost". If Mandrake chooses to make this change, I hope that they keep existing users who joined prior to the rule change with the same benefits.

The club is a reasonable idea to attempt to increase revenue at a time they really need it [linux-mandrake.com] and to simultaneously provide something unique and useful to their enthusiast user base. I can understand this change, but it needs to be communicated clearly to existing members. I hope it won't affect those members who already joined at the lowest rate.

I joined the Mandrake club at the Silver level and I also purchased the discounted ProSuite (which I would not normally have done) in order to support Mandrake. The users who joined at the standard level deserve to receive what they were promised, plain and simple. It's just a matter of principle.

- Leo

Re:OpenOffice? (3, Insightful)

blkros (304521) | about 12 years ago | (#3212500)

Exactly. Plus, I feel, if you pay more, you should get more, anyways. So you can still download open office no matter what level you are, and if you gave the company more money, you can get Star office, personally I feel this is quite fair, and will probably cost less than buying Star from Sun.

Re:OpenOffice? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212582)

Actually, the download additions of Mandrake *are* bundled with OpenOffice. I'm not sure if it installs as a part of the "recommended" install, but under the "expert" install, it must manually be selected. I believe the reasons that Mandrake is offering StarOffice are twofold:

1. A "brand name" suite with corporate backing.

2. The "extras" that weren't included in OpenOffice, particularly the Adabas database, which offers GUI functionality.

You can talk all you want about how great Postgres is (and it is great), but in the real world, are you going to be able to get some 50-something year old administrative assistant to keep an SQL database. Not likely. Unless/until the OSS community comes up with a decent GUI front end for Postgres (which has had the same lousy GUI frontend -- Postgres Access -- for as long as I've been messing with it), businesses are going to stick with Microsoft Office and similar products. It's as simple as that.

Re:OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212688)

I routinely cringe at misspellings on Slashdot, wondering what is going on in some people's heads. And, here I go spelling "editions" as "additions." It's amazing what a caffeine-less brain will do. Time to go brew a pot...

Re:OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212715)

That's exactly what they should have done to avoid the ill will. Perhaps they could pull a Microsoft and have a link from the desktop to a page where you buy the commercial version. Everybody get the free OpenOffice, everybody has the opportunity to buy StarOffice, everybody is treated equally as was originally promised. If what they say about their money woes is true, they can't afford any ill will.

restriction of linux distros (1)

56ker (566853) | about 12 years ago | (#3212439)

Well with Linux distributions getting larger and larger I'm not surprised they've had to restrict downloads - and with all the bad press abuot Microsoft recently more and more people are changing OS.

Re:restriction of linux distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212516)

Not that many really.

Seems Logical (5, Insightful)

Rushuru (135939) | about 12 years ago | (#3212443)

I heard SO 6.0 will be sold for approximately 100 (like $112), so Mandrake can't give it to the $5 a month / $60 a year members.

The people who subscibed to Mandrake club did it because they want to support the distro, so I guess they'll do the math and understand that it just isn't possible to give them StarOffice.

Anyway, OpenOffice is not very different from StarOffice, and it's available for free, so what's the big deal?

Re:Seems Logical (5, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3212501)

Silver and Gold members subscribe for incentives, people who want to just support mandrake can pay 60 bucks a year

Thats a logical business plan, make people pay more money by offering incentives.

Businesses want open office.

Re:Seems Logical (1)

56ker (566853) | about 12 years ago | (#3212537)

It seems a common business plan on the web to get people to sign up for a free service, then a few years later annnounce its no longer free. At least some of the customers will be willing to pay for the mere sake of it being inconvienient to change. As advertising revenue falls it seems more websites are switching to the subscription model/ other revenue sources in an effort to bring money in. The problem with the offer it free, then charge for it plan is that it can cause a lot of resentment from people who think everything on the web should be free. As to StarOffice etc - why can't people just stick with the version they've downloaded already?

Free doesnt make money (3, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3212544)

Of course Mandrake isnt going to be free. People have to pay for the development. The clubs are just the way mandrake is going to make their money

Re:Seems Logical (4, Funny)

soloport (312487) | about 12 years ago | (#3212519)

ZDNet Reporter: Hello, I'm a MSNBC, er uh, ZDNet reporter and I'm calling you because you are a regular Mandrake member. Are you *pissed* that Mandrake has decided to take StarOffice 6.0 away from you because you're just a regular member?

Interviewee1: Well, uh... Yes. Uh... Yes I AM! I'm darn to heck pissed!


ZDNet Reporter: Hello, I'm a ZDNet reporter and I'm calling you because you are a regular Mandrake member. Are you *pissed* that Mandrake has decided to take StarOffice 6.0 away from you because you're just a regular member?

Interviewee2: Well, uh... Yes. Uh... Yes I AM! I'm totally pissed!


ZDNet Reporter: COPY!!!

Re:Seems Logical (1)

archen (447353) | about 12 years ago | (#3212551)

$112? ouch. Well if Sun wanted SO to seem like legit software by stuffing a price tag on it, then that's probably about right for an office suite. It still hurts for regular people like me. I was hoping it would hit the more consumer frienly price of around $60. Not that I care really since I use Open office anyway. At work (bing the IT guy) my boss comes buy and says "let me show you something on Word". Then I informed her I didn't have MS office installed - since I think that would be a waste of money on me. She seemed to be grasping for words at how someone could possibly survive without MS Office. But truthfully I like Open Office a lot more than MS Office, with the exception of the splash screen - but 30 seconds with a resource hacker to swap the bitmaps takes care of that

Re:Seems Logical (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | about 12 years ago | (#3212805)

Agreed. I subscribed at the $60/year level, and I wouldn't use Star Office if it was free (not a flame, I just don't have a use for it). My only beef with the way the club works is that I was under the mistaken impression I would get priority downloads of ISOs, rather than of some commercial demos. Still, at least now my conscience won't make me run to the store and pick up the boxed distro...

The issue isn't Mandrake, but Sun. (2, Insightful)

hateddamntruth (547045) | about 12 years ago | (#3212889)

Sun decided to start charging for Star Office (which I don't understand since it doesn't seem to me like they have such a huge market share yet). Of all Linux distributors, Mandrake probably ranks on top of my list for features, liberty, advancement, stability, and overall beauty, and, over time, they have come to earn my trust and respect. With their financial difficulties lately (hey, face it, it's very difficult to make money off free, though with Free Software, money is less of a priority than liberty and advancement), and with Sun now charging for Star Office, Mandrake has been stuck between a rock and a hard place. So I can't blame them. I would rather they stick to the liberty they have stood for all along, than follow the flock and become more proprietary. If you want non-free, no problem whatsoever, pay for it. If you REALLY want proprietary and non-Free, no problem, buy into Redmond and get shafted by code no one can check. I guess the best option for Mandrake would be to offer Open Office freely, and charge for Star Office, something I suspect they are on their way to doing. Other alternatives (KOffice, Gnome Office, Abiword, ...) should also be promoted and given more support. For our own part, the best thing we can do is to directly support (by donation, purchase, or code) the cause of companies like Mandrake.

So don't be hard on Mandrake. They are on our side.

Given the choices (2)

Alien54 (180860) | about 12 years ago | (#3212451)

I suppose that they could just go and suck it up, and absorb all of the costs of the license fees and distribute it free.

or the could put Open Office [openoffice.org] in it, which is actually not bad, and if I recall rightly is vaguely related to Star Office.

I wonder if their is some sort of contractual obligation to include Star, or were blinsided by the announcement that 6.0 is going to be charged for.

Re:Given the choices (5, Informative)

ReinoutS (1919) | about 12 years ago | (#3212465)


Included on the third CD of Mandrake 8.2 download edition.

Re:Given the choices (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | about 12 years ago | (#3212490)

please mod these up to shut up the fucking slashbots chattering "they should include OpenOffice" all around us.

"I don't think you should do this Jimmy, I mean there is a lot more to it than you think," said Buck as he walked with Jimmy towards his office.

"Look man, what could happen, it's porn, what, I go fuck a girl, and that's it, what's so hard," answered Jimmy.

"There's a lot more too it, especially at first, but you know what, if you wanna go ahead and do it, go ahead, it's you life," said Buck as they both sat down in his office.

Buck was a big porn director who had this friend, Jimmy, who wanted to be in his next movie. Buck had several reasons to try to dissuade Jimmy but he knew that no matter what, Jimmy was somehow going to be in this movie, so he just finally agreed to just let him be in the movie and told him to show up at the taping the next day.

Jimmy showed up the next day, and as soon as he went in he was knocked out with a large steel rod. The next thing he knows he's on the ground, with a headache, tied up, in a completely dark room. Jimmy tried to scream but after several failed attempts he just gives up.

"Shut up rookie," said a deep voice from the corner of the room.

"Yeah, you tell him Jake, stupid rookie, thinks he can take the porn business, we'll see," said another voice, this one from a woman, towards the same direction as the guy.

Suddenly a bright light turned on, blinding Jimmy for a while, then as he got adjusted to the light he noticed that there were two guys and three girls. Both of the guys only had their underwear on, while the girls were all wearing thongs with a tight sports bra.

"Look at him, he's all scared, poor thing, but hey, we all went through this, let's see if he's got what he needs," said one of the girls, this one with blonde hair and huge tits.

"True, so what should we do first," said one of the guys, this one was a middle sized, middle built, guy.

"How 'bout we get him naked," said the second girl, this one was an Asian girl with perky tits, and a nice firm ass.

"Yeah let me go ahead and take off all the shit he had on," said the second man, this one a tall, very muscular, dark-haired guy.

The man approached Jimmy and ripped off his shirt, snapped away his pants, then tore off his underwear to leave him completely naked in front of all five strangers. All five of the strangers just looked at him for a while then the third girl came up to him, this one had brunette hair and had a great ass and tits.

"Well let me tell you why your here first, you see, everybody who is in the porn business had to go through a one day training session, which is why all five of us are here, and this will should prepare you better for this business," the brunette girl explained to Jimmy.

"Okay, so what's up with the ropes," asked Jimmy.

"The ropes are there because if they weren't you wouldn't be able to go through with this," said the blonde guy.

"First we got to warm you up dude, Kandy (speaking to the blonde haired girl), pass me one of the dildos," said the brown haired guy.

"What the fuck do you think you're going to do with that, I'm not taking that shit, noooo," screamed Jimmy and the blonde guy turned Jimmy over while Kandy put the dildo up Jimmy's ass.

Jimmy was in obvious pain as Kandy pushed the 8' inch dildo up his ass, this was the first time Jimmy had ever had anything up his ass. He kept on screaming until he noticed that the other's didn't care and then he slowly got adjusted to the foreign object in his ass.

"I think he's getting used to it, why don't you check on it Karla (the Asian girl)," said the blonde haired guy (Jake).

Karla headed over to Jimmy and then nugged at the dildo and nodded yes to the rest of the crowd. The all looked at each other, conversed with each other, and decided it was time for the next step.

"Okay Jimmy, in the porn business you are expected to play several roles, not just with girls, but with guy's, so when you get into this you are expected to be able to go both ways," explained Travis (the brown haired guy).

"Hey I don't wannna do any of that gay shit, get me out of here," screamed Jimmy.

"Sorry dude, you were warned and you didn't listen, and you have to go through this, and hopefully by the end, you won't even think twice before doing this," said Travis as he signaled for the rest of the group to come and join him.

Jake, Kandy, Karla, and Mary (the brunette girl) all joined Travis as he and Jake prepared to fuck Jimmy. They both got naked, and both had at least 8' inch dicks. They really weren't aroused so they asked the girls if they could help out. Karla and Mary ran towards the two guys, Mary took Jake, and Karla took Travis. They both grabbed their respective guy's dicks and started to lick them, and see as those dicks got real hard and turned to 10' inch dicks. The girls had to be pushed off as they got into the dicks. The both slowly went off and giggled from the delight they had of sucking dicks.

The two men approached Jimmy as Jimmy looked on with a look of fear as he knew no matter what he was going to have two dicks in him. Jake approached him from behind and then pulled out the dildo, this felt weird to Jake as he had gotten used to the dildo. Jake then took his dick and then started to push it into Jimmy's ass.

"Noo, don't do it, ahhhh, I'm not, owwww, gay, ohhhh," screamed Jimmy as he felt Jake's dick start to go into his ass.

"Hey Travis, can you get him to shut up, I can't get him to relax and my dick is having difficulty going in," Jake told Travis.

Travis approached Jimmy then got him by the hair and rammed his huge dick into his mouth. Jimmy gagged as he tried to spit out the dick, but it was no use and couldn't help but to start sucking on this huge dick. As he sucked on this dick he also started to get used to the dick in his ass, as he started to ride Jake's dick.

To Jimmy's surprise he suddenly found himself hard, aroused by two men who were fucking him.

"Suck on it harder, ohhhh, I'm cumming," said Travis.

Jimmy tried to push Travis' dick out with his tongue but this only cause him to cum and forced Jimmy to swallow his cum, and as he took out his dick (Travis) he splashed Jimmy with some cum on his face.

Jake was also about to cum as he started to fuck Jimmy harder. Jake cum in Jimmy's asshole and then slowly took out his dick, which was not hard anymore.

"Look at him guys, I think you two did the job, he's hard," said Mary as she and the other two girls approached Jimmy.

"Okay ladies, it's your turn, go ahead, I think he'll do anything you want him too," said Jake as he and Travis walked of and cleaned themselves off.

"Our pleasure," said Kandy.

All three girls surrounded Jimmy and then started to play with his dick and kiss him all around. Karla and Kandy started to concentrate on Jimmy's dick while Mary stood up, slipped her thong off, which revealed a bare, bald, pussy. Mary then got on top of Jimmy's head and Jimmy knew right away what she wanted.

As Jimmy ate Mary out, slipping his tongue in and out, licking her lips, Karla and Kandy sucked on his balls and his dick. Kandy concentrated on his balls, playing and teasing them with her tongue while Karla licked, sucked, and sometimes bite Jimmy's dick.

All this action made Jimmy very aroused, the most he had ever been in his life. As soon as Karla started to jack Jimmy off he started cum and splashed both girls, which enjoyed it.

Mary on the other hand wanted more and kept having orgasms as Jimmy ate her out. She finally got of him and saw Karla and Kandy licking Jimmy's cum of each other and she joined in.

They finally all got together, came towards Jimmy, and untied him. Jimmy was exhausted and full of cum.

"Congratulations dude, you're in, you made it," said Travis as he shook Jimmy's hand.

"And as your prize, you can have any one of these girls and do anything you want, and of course your grand prize is your role in the next movie, so who do you want," said Travis.

"Thanks guys, I think all of the three girls are great, but I think when I ate out Mary it was great, so I'll take Mary," said Jimmy.

So Mary approached Jimmy as the other girls were taken care off by the other two guys.

Mary didn't even hesitate to start, she rapidly took off her top, she already had her bottom off, and revealed and nice firm set of tits. She then approached Jimmy and started to French kiss him while Jimmy started to rub her ass. She didn't care and let him do anything he wanted.

Mary then got on all fours and told Jimmy to fuck her through the ass. Jimmy gladly agreed and rammed his dick into her asshole and rode her until he finally came.

As he finished up he heard Buck say," Cut, great job Jimmy, this is going great, I didn't thing you had it in you but you do."

"Oh man Buck, what the fuck, hey thanks man, I didn't think it was much work but I gotta thank everyone," said Jimmy as he saw Buck in his director's chair.

Jimmy eventually went on to become a great porn star, but never did he question the hard work of a porn star.

Re:Given the choices (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 12 years ago | (#3212474)

I suppose that they could just go and suck it up, and absorb all of the costs of the license fees and distribute it free.

Perhaps you're congusing Mandrake with Microsoft, GE, IBM or some other company with lots of liquid assets they can absorb losses. In case you haven't noticed, Mandrake is suffering from low revenues, hence the membership drive.

Re:Given the choices (2)

Alien54 (180860) | about 12 years ago | (#3212533)

Perhaps you're congusing Mandrake with Microsoft, GE, IBM or some other company with lots of liquid assets they can absorb losses. In case you haven't noticed, Mandrake is suffering from low revenues, hence the membership drive.

It was an attempt at mild irony/sarcasm without sufficient morning coffee. Next time I'll make it explicit with the use of irony tags.

Re:Given the choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212525)

The reason is that mandrake can't sell their stuff without professional software (and no, most people certainly don't consider your avarage open source software professional).

In the long run the current situation is hopeless. Open source companies will go out of business, the honeymoon with loads VC money is over. Now you have to earn money to pay your bills.

And without other companies making professional software THEY (mandrake) will soon go out of business.

The software market is not a one-man-show.

Why are they pissed (1)

gokulpod (558749) | about 12 years ago | (#3212454)

Were they expecting Staroffice 6.0 for $5 ? That would be ridiculous. This reminds me of some computer company which quoted a price of $200 for a notebook by mistake. Some customers wanted to buy it and were pissed when the company said that it was a mistake (obviously). Were they really expecting a laptop for $200 ? Same case here I guess. By accusing Mandrakesoft of ripping them off they are showing what big hypocrites they are ? These are probably the same people who dont mind paying $400 for Office.

Re:Why are they pissed (3, Funny)

dzym (544085) | about 12 years ago | (#3212545)

These are probably the same people who dont mind paying $400 for Office.
No, these are the same people that pirate Office from work, probably from sysadmins with burned CD-Rs of Office they warezed from USENET. Damned freeloaders.

Re:Why are they pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212646)

This reminds me of some computer company which quoted a price of $200 for a notebook by mistake. Some customers wanted to buy it and were pissed when the company said that it was a mistake (obviously). Were they really expecting a laptop for $200 ?

Actually, that company probably would be required to sell it for $200, by law.

Re:Why are they pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212663)

No it wouldn't.

I'm fairly sure that typos are *not* covered by false advertising laws. Most catalogs have typo disclaimers just to keep their ass totally clean.

Finally, false advertising laws might fine you, but they will *never* force you to sell at the misquoted price.

Re:Why are they pissed (2, Interesting)

SuperDuperMan (257229) | about 12 years ago | (#3212662)

It's not $5 it's 12 months at $5 each so $60.

I think people do mind paying $400 for Office.

Supporting Mandrake is great but in exchange for your money you expect to get something.

I don't send Microsoft money in support of Windows. If I buy Windows that is all the support Microsoft is going to get from me.

Microsoft would love it if people would pay them $60/year for Windows. Heck there are people who have used the same version of Windows for 4 years so that's a good $240 Microsoft could have collected already.

Re:Why are they pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212690)

No one "expected" Mandrake to do this or is pissed off. A Debian fan saw a chance to slag on Mandrake.

"Hordes of pissed off users pissed off at Mandrake screwing them over!"

I mean, Christ.

Fair Enough (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 12 years ago | (#3212461)

The only thing I'd question is the short notice. They should take better care to avoid such a gaffe in the future. If they had announced, before 8.2 was released, that Star Office 6.0 would be at a premium due to Sun's charging, members would have less to gripe about.

well put. (1)

prisoner (133137) | about 12 years ago | (#3212581)

I agree the timing was bad and people should also understand that it wasn't Mandrake that put a price on SO.

So ? (2)

AftanGustur (7715) | about 12 years ago | (#3212464)

I am a member of the Mandrake Club [mandrakeclub.com] and although I understand some people beeing pissed at Mandrake going back on it's words. I can understand Mandrake's view.

The question is weather or not to give access to SO at all, after all, Mandrake will have to pay sun for it and as we know Mandrake is kinda short on cash [slashdot.org]

There realy are just two options, ignore SO completely, or pay sun and give access to it. If Mandrake is to survive, they have to make reasonable choises, and not giving away SO to everyone might be necessary.

Yeah, yeah, I know my splelling is not so good.

Mandrake needs subscribers (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3212510)

It makes perfect sense to offer star office, thats a good program and it seems only 4000 linux users actually put their money where their mouth is,

Re:Mandrake needs subscribers (2)

Sethb (9355) | about 12 years ago | (#3212831)

Actually, I put my mouth-money into Libranet [libranet.com] this week, it was only $45, and it's debian-based, and so far I'm very happy with it.

I just hope they stay around longer than the Stormix, Progeny, and Corel debian-based distros did. But, since you can only get Libranet 2.0 by paying for it, hopefully they'll keep a strong revenue base.

So, I think you should say that only 4000 Mandrake users put their money where their mouth is, some of us are supporting other distributions. :)

Dirty Marketing Trick was Long-Planned (5, Insightful)

heretic108 (454817) | about 12 years ago | (#3212469)

I strongly suspect that early in the development cycle, Sun planned to charge for StarOffice. All they needed to do was get a few stable releases out the door, win some acceptance for the product and, above all, get users accustomed to it and reluctant to learn yet another office suite.

I wonder how many people would have downloaded and invested the time to learn Star Office if they had known from the outset that Sun was planning to charge for it.

Sun, you are a pretty good company in most respects, but I don't think this tactic will benefit your reputation. It would have been better if you kept the basic Star Office suite free, and offered some corporate-targeted optional add-ons (that private users and small companies don't need) at a price. Similar to your Forte Java IDE suite (Free 'Community Edition' through to pricey 'Enterprise Edition'). That would have kept people's trust in your company.

Hopefully, you'll write this off as a mistake, and offer 'Community Editions' of SO 6 and beyond.

Re:Dirty Marketing Trick was Long-Planned (1)

joshki (152061) | about 12 years ago | (#3212493)

It's been common knowledge for at least the last six months that SO 6.0 was not going to be free. The price point that Sun picked is VERY reasonable, given what ms charges for their office suite.
Also, Sun has supported OpenOffice as a free alternative to SO for those of us that can't afford the 100 dollars or so that SO is going to cost.

Re:Dirty Marketing Trick was Long-Planned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212560)


It's been common knowledge for at least the last six months that SO 6.0 was not going to be free.

There were hints. There were trial baloons. Till reciently, though, Sun's decision to charge for SO6 wasn't common knowledge...and likely not even to Sun.

The price point that Sun picked is VERY reasonable, given what ms charges for their office suite.

That I'll agree with...except that SO6 isn't MS Office, so like Corel's WP Office Sun can't charge anything close to monopoly rates.

Duh! (2)

matvei (568098) | about 12 years ago | (#3212566)

They are offering "Community Editions". You can get them at http://www.openoffice.org/ [openoffice.org].

And of course they are going to charge for StarOffice. That's why they've made the investment of their time and resources in it in the first place. Did you think Sun is paying their programmers with bugfixes received from the community? - Nope, you need £$ for that. There's nothing wrong in trying to make a living.

StarOffice is (almost) free as in speech (since you can get almost the same code distributed with OpenOffice), not free as in beer. I respect Sun for trying to make money with OSS, despite freeloaders such as yourself.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212625)

Have you used both products? Staroffice is way more polished than openoffice.

I think this is a bad move for sun. They are charging way to much for staroffice. They have priced it right out of the range of the typical home user who will just stick it with whatever version of office came with there home computer. The cheap geeky user will just go get openoffice and live with its shortcummings. Sun should either lower the price or come out with a cheaper "personal" edition. Most big companies have already standardized on MS Office and won't change so i don't know who they plan on selling this too.

Re:Duh! (3, Informative)

Brian Knotts (855) | about 12 years ago | (#3212669)

Most big companies have already standardized on MS Office and won't change so i don't know who they plan on selling this too


That's the point that people are missing. Yes, Sun has a right to sell StarOffice for whatever price they wish. But, in the long run, which course of action will result in more revenue for Sun? I'm not convinced that this one will. They aren't going to sell more than a handful of licenses, as there is insufficient reason to migrate from MS Office.

Now, when it was free, there was a great reason to migrate: you could reduce your licensing costs tremendously since you had not per-seat restrictions. I know of a company that very nearly switched. The reason they didn't switch was not that StarOffice was free; they didn't switch because StarOffice 5.2 kind of sucked. There was something accomplished, though. They were able to negotiate down their MS Office licensing fees. So, free StarOffice in that case helped to "cut off Microsoft's air supply" just a little bit. Imagine what a good, free StarOffice 6.0 could do. Sun could do better giving away StarOffice, and making money from support and server purchases, I suspect. I'm pretty certain that they won't make much money under the current plan, though.

Re:Dirty Marketing Trick was Long-Planned (1)

restive (542491) | about 12 years ago | (#3212810)

It's been said here before that Sun would be just like Microsoft if they could. As much as I like Sun, I wouldn't trust them with Microsoft's amount of power, either.

I strongly think they need to offer a free version of StarOffice for general use. OpenOffice.org is good (that's what I use), but if they want to make any inroad at all on MS Office, they shouldn't force people to pay for the "official" StarOffice version. There are all sorts of ways they could charge for corporate use, license portions of the product separately, and so forth.

The ideal would be to have completely standards-based file formats. The office suite monopoly needs to stop. I wouldn't accept Sun as a substitute for Microsoft.

why people are ticked (1)

jd142 (129673) | about 12 years ago | (#3212475)

It's a matter of priniciples. When I signed up, I was promised x, y, and z. Now, just a few days latter, what I'm getting is just x and y. Now I'm sure that if I had actually bothered to read the club rules, there would be the generic "we have the right to change the rules at any time" clause. That's fine. Everybody does it, everyone ignores it until the changes hurt. Shoot, I don't care one bit about SO, I still would have signed up.

But they should have been able to see this coming. The SO announcement has been in the news for weeks. What it does is makes them look bad, like they really don't have a clue. That's what's bad. If the polls and discussions of the users on the club board really supported their decision, then that is the right thing to do. But they shouldn't have been blindsided by this.

Re:why people are ticked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212497)

But they should have been able to see this coming. The SO announcement has been in the news for weeks. What it does is makes them look bad, like they really don't have a clue.

Why didn't you see this coming? If you knew Sun was charging for StarOffice why would you assume they could still give it away for free, or below cost?

Re:why people are ticked (2)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | about 12 years ago | (#3212640)

If you knew Sun was charging for StarOffice why would you assume they could still give it away for free, or below cost?

Resellers and packagers often get a much better deal than the public at large (OEM pricing). It would have been possible that Mandrake got a much better price on SO than the public, and thus still be able to profitably include SO in the basic membership.

Re:why people are ticked (2)

jd142 (129673) | about 12 years ago | (#3212874)

Why didn't I see it coming? I didn't care. I didn't look through the benefits of being a clubmember because I didn't care about them. I've been downloading versions since 6, when they were still RedHat++. This was a way for me to pay for the free software I'd been getting. Still don't care about SO, nor am I ticked about the change in the plans.

I for one (1)

rant-mode-on (512772) | about 12 years ago | (#3212476)

I've recently coughed up the $60 because I've used their distro's in the past, and benefitted from them. Even though I have no intention of using StarOffice and will not be affected by it, I am dismayed at their policy change.

Mandrake should either offer those members that want it the chance to upgrade, or the opportunity to get their money back.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212675)

Allowing upgrades would be *really* smart. They should do that anyway. If you're a $60 copper or whatever member and the silver is $120, you should always be able to upgrade for only $60 from an existing copper member.

The more easily you can ease people into a subscription model, the better you are off.

Excuse for persuade PHBs (1)

AtomicBomb (173897) | about 12 years ago | (#3212479)

I feel reasonably happy as long as they make OpenOffice available for every club member. Put that this way, you will have to provide some extra service to attract higher fee (or even a fee). Many people in the industry may agree with me. Sometimes, you do really want your boss to support open sourced stuff with real $$$ but you cannot find an excuse. Consider bloody ridiculous crappy software in Windows can cost thousands and thousands of dollar, I think it is still a fair deal.

For example, I have heard my sysadmin is trying to persuade the dept to buy a membership from Mandrake (as we may have some spare budget this year). The availablity of StarOffice 6 will make our suggestion a much much stronger case for the PHBs...

StarOffice is NOT FREE. (2, Informative)

Simon Carr (1788) | about 12 years ago | (#3212480)

Understand that. The world does not run on pixie dust, it runs on cash unfortunately.

Re:StarOffice is NOT FREE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212513)

Sure it is, if you know where to look :)))

Information wants to be FREE

Re:StarOffice is NOT FREE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212664)

you might want to re-read suns press release as to why they decided to charge for staroffice 6.0. something among the line of companies not wanting to use free products because they need the support a commercial license offers...

Debian works great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212484)

Signed, a long-time Mandrake user.

Maybe they don't want to (1, Troll)

WildBeast (189336) | about 12 years ago | (#3212485)

Maybe those who donated over $60 don't want to see part of their money go to Sun. Did Mandrake think about that? Apparently not.

Why must people always complain (1, Redundant)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#3212489)

First people complain saying Mandrake has no business plan and is begging because they dont offer benifits and make a legit business out of it, now they make the club a legit club and not a donation, and people complain?!

People need to shut the hell up, Subcribe, or shut up, its that simple.

Re:Why must people always complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212552)

One of the most insightful posts ever on slashdot, mod that one up.

Dont understand the outrage.. (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 12 years ago | (#3212503)

Open office is better than StarOffice. I have both and I use Open Office alot more. StarOffice unless it was HUGELY further advanced doesn't even peak my interest in any way other than "Why is Sun still trying to sell that?" They cant import Office files any better, not that it matters to me anymore, I've pretty much convinced everyone at the office that Microsoft File formats are Evil and reduce our communication abilities and profitability.. (That was an awesome speech at that meeting, dont know where those words came from but talking to sales people use Money as your motivation... it sucks them in every-time) PLus the fact that I have 1/2 the sales force using Open Office at home with the, "You just got a computer and you want to borrow the Office2000 cd set? No that's illegal, but here, Here is a free Office Suite that is just as good, and you can legally give it to everyone you want."

So, we now have over 1/2 the office workers and sales staff using Open Office at home AND now wanting me to install it on their computers at work to replace that Microsoft version.

Star Office, i wish them luck, but noone outside of a corperate purchaser is interested in it.

Re:Dont understand the outrage.. (2)

dhogaza (64507) | about 12 years ago | (#3212594)

But Open Office is Star Office, minus a few goodies like the Adabas database and supposedly some fonts (which perhaps are also licensed, not "Open Font"?).

So I have a difficult time understanding your claim that "Open Office is better than Star Office".

Of course, the Star Office beta's been out for a considerable length of time, so the Open Office code base is more recent and you may be using a version with more bug fixes than the Star Office beta release.

But that same Open Office code base will be wrapped into Star Office final ...

Re:Dont understand the outrage.. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 12 years ago | (#3212813)

so the reason to buy it compared to just downloading Open Office?? Free versus a older pay for item. Yes the version of Open Office I use and distribute to people is newer than the Star Office release. as for the DB and Fonts... noone really cares for them. Most everyone in corperate uses spreadsheets for databases and any sizeable database that requires multiple users access can be slapped into a web-based database with MySQL as a backend and Perl as a frontend within a week or two by any competent IS/IT Employee.

Star Office Offer's nothing for everyone to get all pissy about with the Mandrake subscription system...

So what's the problem? (2)

Enry (630) | about 12 years ago | (#3212507)

Remember when RedHat used to distribute Metro-X and other commercial applications (Applix) with the OS? Only those who paid for the CD version would get the apps, and if you downloaded RH, you got the version without the commercial apps.

Re:So what's the problem? (1)

mr_organic (119348) | about 12 years ago | (#3212541)

The difference is that Red Hat never promised that Applix and Metro-X would be available to everyone. It was clearly stated that these were commercial products. Mandrake stated quite clearly that SO would be available to *all* club members, and they are reneging on that promise.

It's not a question of whether people who forked over $5 should have expected this turn of events. The point is that Mandrake offered them a deal in exchange for their money, Mandrake took their cash, and *then* backed out. This is just a shitty way to do business. (Especially after Mandrake went crying to their user base not a month ago asking for corporate welfare -- sorry, I meant "donations" -- just to stay afloat.)

I agree that in practical terms this isn't all that big a deal, but it's still a lousy way to treat loyal customers.

Whatever happened to the credo "underpromise, overdeliver"?

Who cares? (1)

pcgamez (40751) | about 12 years ago | (#3212517)

Do people expect Mandrake to just hand out millions of copies of paid software for free? get real!

This is not so bad (5, Interesting)

johnlenin1 (140093) | about 12 years ago | (#3212522)

That Mandrake is going to pass along the cost of Sun's charging for StarOffice 6 only makes sense from a financial point of view, especially given Mandrake's recent money troubles [slashdot.org].

It doesn't bother me a bit though, and I am a club member, though not at a level high enough to download StarOffice for free. I gave my $60 to Mandrake, not expecting anything in return, even though benefits are offered to club members. I gave my money because I think Mandrake is the best distro around, and one that has a real chance of making a headway against the MS dominance on the desktop.

So don't be upset that Mandrake is charging its customers to cover the cost of that which they are being charged for themselves. That's how a business is run. And unless Mandrake stays profitable as a business, this great distrobution might not be around in a couple of years.

If you enjoy or appreciate Mandrake's work, why not join the club [mandrakeclub.com] yourself today?

Re:This is not so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212742)

I'm not a member and this doesn't inspire me to become one. I made a donation in response to their statement of need, but I have no desire to join their Mickey Mouse Club.

Yes! Reality Check People! (5, Insightful)

BitMan (15055) | about 12 years ago | (#3212833)

I'm not a Mandrake fan, nor do I use it. But I've gotta side with Mandrake in this one, because it's obvious some of you are taking their goodwill too far. I pay RedHat the similar $60/year, the lowest level, for priority downloads and other services. I don't expect anything more, nor should you Mandrake $60/yearers after reading their agreement.

Reality check people! $60/year does NOT entitle you to a product that is almost $100 on the retail shelf. I don't care about OEM licensing, Mandrake has got to make money! Furthermore, that $60 probably barely covers all the other services and benefits provided. Lastly, the statement of "receive the same benefits" would most likely extend to only Mandrake products and services, and NOT 3rd party products and/or services. Otherwise, Mandrake would go "belly up" (actually all distros seem to have a constant loss after all expense considerations, even RedHat).

Frankly, Mandrake should be commended on allowing StarOffice to be downloaded as an .iso thanx to membership, and Sun for licensing it to Linux distributors so they can do so. Man, I'm really getting sick of this "whining" crap. Some of you "whiney" Linux users need to go! At least before most of the good, GPL-focused commercial organizations cannot sustain your selfishness!

Amateur Hour (2, Insightful)

mr_organic (119348) | about 12 years ago | (#3212523)

The basic problem is one of credibility. Mandrake stated unequivocally that all club members would have the same privileges (which included access to Star Office). Now, they are going back on their contract and saying, "Whoops, sorry, we screwed up. I know you already laid your money down, but we can't give you what you paid for." The proper thing to do would have been either to offer refunds to club members who had already paid, or grandfather Star Office to everyone who had already paid.

This just makes Mandrake look both foolish and amateurish. If they wish to be taken seriously as a business, they can't go whining to their users for welfare payments one minute, then renege on promises the next. Mandrake produces a fine distro, but their business acumen leaves a lot to be desired.

Here's a free hint, guys: pissing off your loyal user base to save a few bucks in the short-term is a great way to doom your company.

Re:Amateur Hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212680)

I suspect that if you called up and said "I'm so pissed off that you did this that I want a refund" that they'd likely give you a refund.

I just don't know why you'd do this. SO costs more than you're being charged there, mate.

Re:Amateur Hour (1)

Allistair (539971) | about 12 years ago | (#3212728)

This is not what I recall at all. I remember the question being put to Deno and he said that at this time there was no difference in the levels but that this might change. Everyone who has seen the MandrakeClub develop knows that they have been working out the details -- by gauging what the community wants/needs and then guaging what they can provide.

I took a look at the levels and said, "Okay, I won't be getting any more but I'm going to join at the Silver level." It was a choice. I was also planning on purchasing Sun's Star Office -- not because I need it (I have been using Open Office in the interim) but because I feel that it is important to support a company that made this product available and made Linux a better contender for the desktop. I might still purchase Star Office.

It is a matter of how much I feel I benefit from Mandrake's product. That I didn't have 2-3 hours (in opportunity costs) to get my scanner working has been a real plus for me these past few weeks.

Some day people in this community have to grow up and realize that if you don't support some of these products now, they might not be around to support in the future.

Angry users (2)

LinuxGeek8 (184023) | about 12 years ago | (#3212524)

Well, we can all ramble now on Slashdot about angry users, how we can feel with themn, or feel with Mandrake and try to understand their decision....

Can someone please point out an angry user?
On Mandrakeforum all I found were a few posts of someone who said to be disappointed, and another one who was displeased.
That's not the same as angry. Well, maybe on Slashdot, but not in the rest of the world :-)

So maybe this story has the size of a mosquito, where on Slashdot it is blown up to the size of an elephant?

Re:Angry users (2)

szcx (81006) | about 12 years ago | (#3212783)

On Mandrakeforum all I found were a few posts of someone who said to be disappointed, and another one who was displeased.
And that's a damn shame. It sends a signal to businesses that it's okay to change the rules when the game isn't going their way. If this had been any other company there'd be Slashbots with pitchforks and torches as far as the eye can see.

Why should Mandrake get a free pass? Is it okay for, say, Red Hat to do the same thing? Mandrake begged for donations, they promised equal access for all, they reneged on the deal after people had paid. It's a pretty cut and dry case of fucking over your supporters.

Nobody should get away with that kind of crap.

I intend to ask for a refund. I was interested in supporting Mandrake, not Sun, and certainly not the salaries of managers who would allow this to happen.

more on announcement from MandrakeClub (5, Informative)

jd142 (129673) | about 12 years ago | (#3212528)

If you go to:
http://www.mandrakeclub.com/article.php?sid=1 3

You will see this as part of the announcement for commercial applications for MandrakeClub members:

"At this moment it isn't clear what will happen with the StarOffice. How badly do you need this application?"

This is dated March 8. Before they made the big membership drive, IIRC, or very close to it. Most of the responses below say that they don't care about SO. So, it looks like someone is spreading FUD about Mandrake and that Mandrake needs to be a little bit more thorough is updating its the marketing on its website.

Grandfather us in! (1)

bioart (256479) | about 12 years ago | (#3212543)

They should have grandfathered all users who had registered by a specific time.

Changing (or announcing) policies like that should be done with much more care than what they did.

Mandrake (0)

taozilla (212203) | about 12 years ago | (#3212549)

I am a member of the Mandrake club. I did not join to take advantage of the Mandrakesoft, just to help pay for the bandwidth when I download four? ISO images. Other then Crux, my favorite distro, Mandrake is in my opinion the best distro for moving people off of Windows.

I appreciate Mandrakesoft's efforts in supporting KDE, a WM which I use on my Sparc and FreeBSD machines.

People need to understand that if they do not provide at least some financial support to open source companies then there will be less choices for the "free as in beer" crowd.

I for one have had to pay the monthly charges for a T1 and appreciate a 55k+ transfer.

The real problem with mandrake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212550)

Very bad support of older distros. Once your distro gets a little old you wont be able to find any more rpms on their main site or mirrors, although they must be someplace.

Just watch, in a matter of months, 8.1 will vanish. If you're running a server with 8.1 and need a package for some reason, you'll have a hell of a time finding it. I believe they store the iso's longer. I had this very problem not too long ago, and even emailed them and asked what happened to 7.x, and they officially said i was s.o.l.

They basically want to keep moving you up in versions, but this is very hard if your are running a live server.

Re:The real problem with mandrake (1)

dajalas (244809) | about 12 years ago | (#3212563)

On the contrary, there appears decent RPM support going back to 7.2.

My complaint, and it's minor: Upgrades should be easier.

Grow up you childish theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212609)

everybody in this "community" wants something for nothing and expects everything for free. grow up, take a bath, and use Microsoft Windows XP , a real OS.

Re:Grow up you childish theives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3212659)

No, we club members want something for a $60 a year. Which if you multiply that over the lifetime you would use a non-opensource OS (3 years) is just about the same cost.

Having said that i am not in the least bit mad that as a $60/year member that i won't be getting staroffice. I joined several months back because i wanted to support my favorite desktop distro. I don't care about getting any closed source apps for free.

A Solution (1)

kbroom (258296) | about 12 years ago | (#3212858)

Seriously I don't see the problem with this. If SO6 costs money then Mandrake should not just give it away for 5 bucks.
What they should do is give the SO6 download to all the mandrake club members that _already_ signed up previous to the controversial decision. That way, the don't betray or lie to anyone, old members and members to come.
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