E-commerce start-up signs Linux distribution deal

Zelerate releases a new version of its open-source e-commerce software and signs a key deal to have it packaged with the SuSE's version of Linux.

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NEW YORK--Zelerate has released a new version of its open-source e-commerce software and signed a key deal to have it packaged with the SuSE's version of Linux.

Zelerate's AllCommerce 1.2, software that allows companies to set up online stores, will be bundled with the professional edition of SuSE's Linux. The move provides an important distribution channel for Zelerate, especially in light of the top Linux seller, Red Hat, acquiring Zelerate competitor Akopia.

The combined version is expected to be available this quarter, the companies said Thursday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in New York.

The new version of AllCommerce is designed to work hand-in-glove with a future product, Warehouse Management, that will allow companies to track inventory and fulfill customer orders. AllCommerce and Warehouse Management are written to use Extensible Markup Language (XML) and run on Linux, Unix, FreeBSD Unix and Windows 2000.

Zelerate's software allows orders through handheld computers and cell phones as well as ordinary computers.

Zelerate, formerly called OpenSales, also competes with established products such as those from Intershop, a company that garnered $28.1 million in revenue in the last quarter of 2000.

Zelerate also announced Thursday that ThinkGeek, a Web site that sells books, Nerf guns, telescopes, T-shirts and other paraphernalia tailored for a nerdy audience, is using its e-commerce software.