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Linux firms score coup with Dell software deal

Linuxcare and OpenSales forge a partnership with the computer maker to sell OpenSales' e-commerce software on Dell computers.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--Linuxcare, Dell Computer and OpenSales have created a partnership to sell OpenSales' e-commerce software on Dell computers, company executives said today.

Dell will sell a server loaded with OpenSales' e-commerce software, which lets people create and run shopping Web sites, bundled with support from Linuxcare, said Dell account manager Jay Gleason. The product will be unveiled in the fourth quarter and will be called E-Shop-in-a-box.

Each of the three companies will get a fraction of the revenue on each machine sold, said Dave Willmott, a sales and technical support representative at Linuxcare.

Linuxcare will provide the disks and handle updating the customers' software for a year after purchase. OpenSales will handle support of its AllCommerce product, chief executive Bonnie Crater said.

Linuxcare will support customers as they install the system, sign up for a domain name, register with search engines, and get their first products up for sale on the Web, Gleason said.

The backing from Dell is important both for San Francisco-based Linuxcare, working to regain lost momentum, and OpenSales, a small company in San Mateo, Calif., trying to take on larger competitors such as Intershop Communications.

The product is an example of a new push for Linuxcare: remote management of its clients' computers, said Linuxcare vice president of marketing Dave LaDuke. The company will keep the computers systems up-to-date automatically and will be able to offer services later for updating the software with new features.

The product will be sold to small and medium-sized businesses, Gleason said, though there's heavy interest from hosting companies that house Web sites for customers.

Also today, as expected, OpenSales agreed to participate in CollabNet's service for finding open-source programmers who want to bid for programming jobs. In addition, Henri Poole, recently named CEO of French Linux seller MandrakeSoft, said his company is bundling OpenSales software along with its version of Linux to reach more business customers.