SuSE Linux Adds E-Commerce To Portal

Linux vendor SuSE announced this week that it has tapped outsource solutions provider Digital River, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRIV) to turn its online information portal into an e-commerce site.

The deal is one of several key moves that SuSE has publicly announced at the high profile COMDEX show in LasVegas, Nevada.

“As Linux moves into the mainstream marketplace as an operating system, SuSE is a key player in this burgeoning arena,” stated Joel Ronning, Digital River CEO. “They understand the value of delivering software online to meet expanded customer demands.”

Digital River, under the terms of the agreement, will host and provide marketing and merchandising services for, and carry through with product delivery for online customers.

“By partnering with Digital River, we are able to provide an additional outlet for our customers to purchase our leading Linux software,” commented Marc Torres, president of SuSE, Inc. “Digital River will manage our online store and enhance online sales by optimizing the user interface and information architecture of our site.”

Partnering With VA Linux

SuSE also announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with VA Linux Systems, a developer of open-source software products and services, to collaborate on a version of SuSE Linux to be factory-installed on VA Linux servers and workstations.

“We’re happy to be working with SuSE, which has long been a popular Linux distribution among businesses and end users worldwide,” said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems. “We look forward to being able to provide SuSE Linux on our systems as an option to our customers.”

Co-development between the companies is set to begin in December, and will help to build SuSE’s presence in the market for Linux-based solutions. According to company numbers, SuSE has more than 50,000 business customers worldwide, serviced through offices in the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

Sunnyvale, California-based VA Linux Systems has filed with the SEC for an upcoming IPO. The company is thought to be looking to repeat the meteoric Wall Street success of Red Hat and Cobalt.

New Version of SuSE Linux Released

SuSE Linux 6.3, set to launch December 1st, was announced at COMDEX this week, promising a new graphical installation program that will simplify the process for newbies.

The updated SuSE package includes over 1,500 applications, including the Apache Web server, the latest KDE (K Desktop Environment), samba, sendmail and StarOffice 5.1a. SuSE’s Linux 6.3 features improved security and enhancements for using Linux as a server.

An additional feature is the inclusion of a trial version of Hummingbird Exceed, an X-server for Windows. The product allows users to “run Linux programs under Windows on a Linux server,” according to SuSE.

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