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Andover.Net to acquire Linux services firm

The company that operates Web sites for the technical community agrees to acquire QuestionExchange to boost its Linux services.

Andover.Net has augmented its Linux business plan through the acquisition of QuestionExchange, the company said.

Andover.Net operates several Web sites that are designed for the technical community and for Linux resources in particular. The QuestionExchange site is part of a new effort to sell companies Linux services such as online documentation, product support or software updates.

QuestionExchange lets people post questions and others submit bids for answers. The site currently has more than 1,500 registered consultants.

QuestionExchange has sectionsIf it says Linux, investors want it for more than just Linux, but Andover.Net is focusing on Linux in particular, executives have said in the past. Indeed, the company's association with Linux helped its initial public offering last fall.

Selling Linux services is a common feature in many companies' business plans. Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems, and Red Hat all have sites offering online help, some of which comes from people who aren't employees of the companies.

Andover.Net will rely on the existing talent pool for some of its services. "We'll use a collaborative support model over the Internet to extend service on thousands of products to thousands of corporations," chief executive Bruce Twickler said in a statement.

Andover.Net has 2.4 million unique visitors per month, the company said.

Last year, Andover.Net acquired two sites popular among Linux fans, the Freshmeat software download site and the Slashdot news and discussion site.

Terms of the QuestionExchange acquisition weren't disclosed.