E-Commerce and Linux Come Together by ‘Magic’

Magic Software Enterprises (Nasdaq: MGIC) unveiled the latest version of its e-commerce server Friday, a product powered by the Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) distribution of the red-hot Linux operating system (OS).

The Magic Enterprise Server v.8.3, which will ship in October, features the ability for e-commerce developers working on other platforms to port their existing business solutions to Linux. This feature, according to Magic, could compel more e-commerce professionals to deploy Linux-based solutions for their online business operations.

The Magic Enterprise Server v.8.3 has a list price of $2,500.00 (US$).

A Commitment To Linux

“Because Linux is such a reliable Internet operating system, we expect developers will take advantage of this offering to port their e-commerce and other enterprise-level solutions to the platform to enjoy all of the benefits of a scalable Web-enabled environment,” commented Magic CEO Jack Dunietz. He added that the “Magic for Linux Enterprise Server v.8.3 is just the next step in Magic’s continuing commitment to the Linux operating system.”

According to a Magic company statement, the v.8.3 server for Linux is designed to handle such situations as when it “must be “scaled up quickly from dozens of users to tens of thousands or more users.” Aside from supporting application partitioning, distributed processing and Web deployment, the Magic Enterprise Server v.8.3 also allows parallel processing across multiple systems — a particularly important feature for e-commerce solutions.

Magic originally announced that it has become a player in the field of Linux-based e-commerce solutions by debuting its eMerchant product at the LinuxWorld Expo in San Jose, California in August. The company has increasingly embraced Linux-based solutions, and earlier this year became a member of the Board of Directors of Linux International.

The Next Linux IPO?

The recent Red Hat IPO (initial public offering) — which raised $4.55 billion on Nasdaq — has inspired enthusiastic investor speculation about which Linux company might follow suit and go public. Analysts have been on a similar mission, holding up companies such as Caldera Systems and VA Linux Systems as possible candidates to be “the next Red Hat.”

Andover.Net, a company that runs a network of open-source and Linux-related Web sites — including the notorious Slashdot.org — recently announced that it has filed a registration statement for its own IPO. The company plans to sell 4,000,000 shares of its common stock, with a proposed price of between $12 and $15 a share.

“Since June, Andover.Net has experienced a tremendous growth highlighted by the acquisitions of Slashdot and Freshmeat,” stated Bruce Twickler, president and CEO of Andover.Net. The company also recently raised $10 million in mezzanine financing from Boston-based TA Associates. According to an Andover.Net statement, “the offering is being underwritten by WR Hambrecht + Co. LLC, Advest, Inc. and DLJ Direct through WR Hambrecht + Co.’s proprietary OpenIPO system

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