LAS VEGAS — First Sun Microsystems Inc., then Dell Computer Corp. and now Accpac International Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., will be supporting Linux.

Accpac announced at its Partnership 2002 conference, held here, that its flagship

product, the Advantage Series, will support both Linux-based servers and desktops.

Accpac’s Pro Series product will be next to support Linux followed by the company’s eCRM and eTransact products. David Hood, president and CEO, confirmed that Accpac’s entire product line will eventually be ported over.

“”That process will take some time, but we are committed to the Linux environment,”” said Hood.

Hood stopped short of saying Linux would supplant Windows, however. He said it depends on the region. For example, in Europe 40 per cent of all servers are running Linux.

“”Linux is not going to take over for Windows, but it will compete admirably with Windows. Microsoft has recognized this and has a big challenge ahead of them to deal with this strong competition,”” Hood said.

He added that in some cases customers are fed up with the new Microsoft licensing policies and want to stop using Windows altogether.

Marc Cashman, president and CEO of AGS Software Inc., a Toronto-based Accpac VAR, said that DB2 on the Linux side of the database is a more robust system. “”We know that clients with large databases will be able to handle the system without crashes. The Linux system gives us stability,”” Cashman said.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Linux Operating Environment Forecast 2002-2006, Linux growth hit 107 per cent last year and is expected to grow more than four times this year. IDC further predicts continued growth of the Linux client at a compounded annual rate of 30.1 per cent through 2006.

“”In Canada, it is still very quiet but it is more to the fact that interest has not been marketed and pushed out there,”” said Cashman of the adoption rate for Linux in Canada. “”I think next year will be quite different now that Accpac is releasing Linux versions and giving us this opportunity,”” he added.

Scott Handy, director of worldwide Linux solutions marketing for IBM, a major partner for Accpac at this conference, said Linux is ready for business. He added that IBM’s historic $1 billion commitment to Linux last year has already been paid off.

“”For us the connection with Accpac and IBM was the major starting point. Our clients have been requesting Linux, but we did not have a platform available. Now we do,”” Cashman said.

Handy also announced some incentives for Accpac VARs at Partnership. If they sign up to become an IBM business partner, which is free of charge, they will be automatically entered into the DB2 and Xseries partner programs.

If a reseller installs, for example, Advantage Series with Red Hat Linux and DB2 on an IBM X Series server, and gives IBM a VAR reference three times during the year that VAR will receive US$10,000. For 10 installs the reseller gets US$25,000 and for 20 installs they get US$45,000. There is no limit to the amount of installs. “”We love giving away money,”” Handy said.


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