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Beyond.com to resell Linux, shares jump

Shares of downtrodden online retailer rise after the company announced it will be a certified reseller of Red Hat Linux software.

    Shares of downtrodden online retailer Beyond.com rose this morning after the company announced it will be a reseller of Red Hat Linux software and services to the lucrative U.S. government and business-to-business markets.

    Shares of Beyond.com jumped 1.63, or about 25 percent, to 8. The stock is trading well below its 52-week high of 37. Today's news comes just weeks after investments DLJ and Wit Capital downgraded their outlook of Beyond.com. DLJ reduced its outlook to "market perform" from 'buy" while Wit lowered it to "neutral" from "buy."

    The company today said it is the first Red Hat certified reseller to provide Linux software and services to the U.S. government. Beyond.com already provides software services for government agencies.

    Linux is considered a strong alternative to software offered by Microsoft.

    Under terms of the agreement, Beyond.com has the right to merchandise Red Hat Linux software and services to all business segments, particularly the business-to-government and business-to-business (B2B) segments.

    The stock in companies that make or distribute alternative OS software, such as Be and Linux, have surged since the judge presiding over the landmark antitrust trial of software giant Microsoft said that he thinks Microsoft has abused its powers.

    "Red Hat is excited to tap into Beyond.com's strong presence in the government space and expanding presence in the B2B arena," Lisa Sullivan, director of channel sales for Red Hat, said in a statement. "Beyond.com's experience in selling software and associated support services will help to enhance Red Hat's position within these key B2B markets."

    CNET, publisher of News.com, holds an equity stake in Beyond.com.