Applix, Inc. (Nasdaq: APLX), a provider of Linux, UNIX and Microsoft-based software solutions, announced today that it has acquired open-source auction site Cosource.com in an effort to pump up its own e-commerce and online information offering.
Applix will integrate Cosource.com with SmartBreak.com, a resource site that was designed to accelerate support for users and developers who work with open-source environments.
“Together with our partners and affiliates, Cosource.com and SmartBeak.com are key components of a service network that brokers development and support of products, builds online communities around them, and increases control and choice for customers,” commented Bernie Thompson, founder and CEO of Cosource.com. “The result is increased value and market share for the products and services served by these systems.”
According to Applix, “The acquisition of Cosource.com and its integration with the Linux Division’s Smartbeak.com Web site provide the essential components of a fully enabled e-commerce solution, which will facilitate open source development and support on a global basis.”
Striking A Balance
The availability of support was an early issue that was identified as a potential barrier to moving open-source operating systems into larger business and consumer markets. Resources such as the Applix Web site, according to some industry analysts, might attract more adherents — including e-commerce professionals — who seem to be identifying with the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of Linux.
Although the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, Thompson will become President of Applix’s Linux Division in conjunction with the deal.
“The acquisition of Cosource strengthens the overall strategy of the Linux Division to focus on the emerging market opportunities created by the convergence of open-source, Linux, and the Internet,” stated Jit Saxena, Chairman and CEO of Applix. “This market opportunity is best served by companies that offer the right balance of leading edge technology and innovative Internet services.”
The Applix-manufactured Office Suite, which features Data, Graphics, Mail, Presents, Spreadsheets and Words components, could represent an attractive productivity software alternative to the high-priced Microsoft Office offerings.
The product incorporates open-source software architecture, enabling developers to access the core Applixware runtime environment. Runtime is a developer’s tool that is similar to Microsoft’s Visual Basic, and is intended to streamline and simplify the process of coding.
The product includes updated filters that permit document interchange with Microsoft’s Office 2000 market offering. Applix also manufactures iEnterprise, an Internet-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
In November, Applix entered into a strategic distribution agreement with Walnut Creek CDROM to bring its office suite product and development resource tool to users of FreeBSD (Free Berkeley System Distribution), an OS that has been widely adopted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and some online titans.
Under the terms of the agreement, Walnut Creek distributes version 4.4.2 of the Applixware Office Version 4.4.2, the Applix SHELF visual open-source application development toolset and runtime environment with their FreeBSD 3.3 Power Desktop package.
Redmond, Washington-based Cosource.com describes itself as “a collaborative reverse-auction Web site that acts as a market maker between consumers and developers of open-source software.”