The Magic of Linux

Magic Software Enterprises (Nasdaq: MGIC) has recently positioned itself as a player in the field of Linux-based e-commerce solutions, announcing the availability of its eMerchant product for the increasingly popular open-source operating system (OS).

A business-to-business e-commerce solution, eMerchant offers transaction processing and an order entry mechanism that integrates with existing IT systems and data. The Magic eMerchant for Linux product will ship, according to the company, in the second half of this year.

“For companies who recognize the critical importance of becoming web-enabled,” commented Jack Dunietz, Magic’s CEO, “they now have the option of not only selecting a more failsafe Internet operating system but also one that offers a scalable e-commerce solution that can be quickly enabled to provide businesses a competitive edge.”

The Irvine, California-based company has also launched “The Magic for Linux Really Cool Contest,” to encourage solutions development for the platform. Running from May 20 though October 15 — with a deadline of September 30 — the contest will award the developer who builds what is judged to be the best e-commerce solution for Linux with a 10-day cruise for two to Antarctica, to meet “the coolest penguins on the face of the earth.”

Additionally, Magic has become a board member of Linux International, a non-profit organization founded with a mission to advance international acceptance for the OS. “As a member of the Linux International Board,” stated Dunietz, “we are committed to increasing the visibility for Linux as a viable alternative for companies worldwide who want to actively exploit the benefits of doing business over the Internet.”

On April 1, Magic announced that eMerchant had been given the “Best of Show” award at the 1999 Internet Commerce Expo, sponsored by the International Data Group.

“Buying an Airplane for the Price of a Car”

Dallas, Texas-based Bynari Systems announced last week its own contender for the growing Linux e-commerce market. In order to compete with larger name companies, Bynari is offering a Linux-based “Total Commerce” package, bundled with “a catalogue, database and web server at no additional cost.”

“Open source software allows us to offer this industrial strength product for 10% of most competitor’s pricing,” said company co-founder S. Thomas Adelstein. “It’s like buying an airplane for the price of a car.”

It’s a Geek World After All

Red Hat Software recently sponsored “Geek World,” a Linux twist on MTV’s The Real World, which features a cast of real folks submitting to having their lives documented for entertainment value.

Seeking to advance international acceptance of Linux, Red Hat placed six winners of their “Geek World” contest from around the world in a T1-wired, North Carolina beach house. “The geeks” were required to create and maintain a Web site for the duration of their stay, and highlights are available for surfers at Red Hat online.

When asked, “what do you think is the biggest misconception about Linux users?” Geek Tim Janik responded, “hackers are not necessarily pale, ugly geeks who don’t manage to get a real life.”

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