Mandriva announces that its Club is open to all Linux users, free of charge. From now on, anyone can access the Club content and use the services of the platform, like any other Mandriva Community services.
The Mandriva Club offers content and services for Mandriva Linux users, including:
* a news feed with community articles and interviews
* a knowledge base, with tips & tricks and a special zone for Linux newcomers
* the RPM farm service for an easy access to online application packages and repositories
* Bittorrent downloads with access to the final versions a few days before the release for early seeders
* the official documentation
* a personal blog service for community members
* a nice e-cards service for the holiday season
* access to a complete e-training program, with 25 free training modules
* access to the Mandriva Expert support platform
* an HCL database
"The Club platform is based on Wiki technology, which allows community members to contribute easily and adapt the content and structure with a lot of freedom", declares Stephane Lauriere, Architect of the Mandriva Club platform.
As part of the new Club changes, all Mandriva Users can become members of the Club by registering for a free my.mandriva.com account. Free accounts are used to identify users on interactive services like blogs or discussion forums.
Official Forums & Documentation open to all users
"The forums have been free and open for quite some time, but they were still perceived as a Club restricted space", declares Remi Mathieu, Forum Manager at Mandriva. Everyone can browse the forums and search messages, no registration or identification is required. Posting on the forums simply requires a free Mandriva account to login."We ask people to post messages non-anonymously, to maintain the quality of the discussions and prevent spam bots",adds Remi Mathieu, Forum Manager at Mandriva.
Official Mandriva Forums are managed by company employees, but it is connected to many other Mandriva users forums hosted and managed directly by community members in a particular language or region of
the world. "We are excited to welcome all the new Mandriva 2008 users, our links will be strengthened with all other community forums" adds Remi.
The official products documentation is also free of access on the Club platform, either in HTML for a quick search, or as ready-to-print PDF manuals.
All services Free
The Mandriva Club was created in 2001 after the dot-com bubble burst. It allowed a large community of users to help the company financially. Product downloads and other exclusive content have been offered as part of the services of the Club. The Mandriva Club has had a tremendous success which allowed the company to keep releasing new innovative Linux products.
As part of the changes to the Club, the paid product downloads have been spun off into a separate service now known as the Powerpack Download Subscription. This service offers download access to two
commercial Mandriva Linux editions at a single yearly price from the Mandriva Store. Existing paying Club members are being offered Powerpack subscriptions to replace their paid membership.
"We have discussed with many community members and listened to their suggestions to come to this change", declares David Barth, CTO and VP, Consumer Business Unit. "We thank our paying members for their support: "they have helped this company extraordinarily. We are now happy to invite all Mandriva Linux users to join and enjoy the free and open Club community platform". Long time Linux supporters can still help Mandriva with the new approach. "One of the best way to support Open Source with Mandriva is to buy a product: it gives a positive signal to the world that Linux and Free Software are really *valuable*", says David Barth.
The Mandriva Club is available at: http://club.mandriva.com/
A FAQ is available at: http://club.mandriva.com/xwiki/bin/view/Main/Faq
summarizing the changes.