Magento vs. Mage-OS vs. Adobe Commerce

Magento - the history

Magento, Mage-OS and Adobe Commerce all share the same origins. In 2007, the market was primarily characterized by existing store systems such as XT-Commerce, launched as a fork and potential successor to OSCommerce, Zen Cart, PrestaShop and Shopify.

Under the leadership of Roy Rubin, the founder of Varien, and with the significant involvement of Yoav Kutner, Magento was developed with the aim of offering a flexible, scalable and user-friendly solution for online retailers.

However, with a first public beta version in March 2008, the small but innovative software company Varien showed an interesting and completely new approach. Even enterprise functions such as multi-store capability, APIs and import and export standards were available out-of-the-box for everyone immediately and free of charge as an open source solution.

The success of Magento under Varien was not only a milestone in the history of e-commerce, but also a testament to the power of open source software and community-driven development. Magento established itself as a platform that not only provided powerful tools for merchants, but also fostered a vibrant community of developers and users who contributed to the constant improvement and expansion of the platform.

Magento - the acquisitions

Magento's history is characterized by several significant company and brand acquisitions for the "Magento" brand, which have significantly influenced the development and direction of the platform. These acquisitions not only reflect the growing value of Magento in the e-commerce sector, but also the changing trends in the technology and business world.

eBay (2011 - 2015) - The first significant acquisition of Magento

The first major turning point in Magento's history was its acquisition by eBay in 2011. eBay initially acquired a 49% stake in Magento before taking over the platform completely. This acquisition was part of eBay's strategy to strengthen its eCommerce and online payment platforms, in particular PayPal. Under eBay, Magento received additional resources and support to further develop the platform. However, this acquisition also led to initial concerns about Magento's independence and open source philosophy.

At times, employees from PayPal and Magento Sales even shared their own offices in Berlin. eBay made its first attempts to place Magento as an enterprise product with various digital agencies in order to supply the then newly launched agency partner program with leads. At this time, web-vision, as a Magento agency, became a Magento Bronze Partner. With regard to the Magento backend, PayPal's payment methods were already natively integrated into the Magento core.

Permira (2015 - 2018 ) - Spin-off and foundation of Magento Inc.

In 2015, as part of a comprehensive restructuring, eBay divested Magento as part of eBay Enterprise. The private equity company Permira thus also took over Magento. At the time, Magento Commerce was ranked #1 in the Internet Retailer Top 100,000, the B2B 300 and the Top 500 Guides for Europe and Latin America.

Magento was reincorporated as an independent company, Magento Inc. This spin-off was well received by the Magento community as it marked a return to a stronger community orientation and a focus on open source development.

Adobe (2018 to date) - A new name for Magento is needed

The next significant acquisition took place in 2018, when Adobe bought Magento for around 1.68 billion US dollars. This acquisition was a strategic move by Adobe to expand its digital marketing and e-commerce solutions portfolio, as at the time Adobe had virtually no online-enabled products and no answer or products for the existing e-commerce boom.

With Magento, Adobe was able to expand its offering with a leading e-commerce platform that integrated seamlessly with its existing range of new cloud services and marketing tools. The acquisition by Adobe brought new resources and opportunities for Magento, but also led to questions about the platform's future direction and open source commitments.

Adobe's attempt to change the brand name from Magento to Adobe Commerce proved to be a rift between the strong international community around Magento open source. Up to this point, thousands of agencies, developers and service providers had always offered their products, extensions, themes and much more under the brand name Magento or with the nickname "Mage".

The Magento community simply saw Adobe's marketing stunt as an imposition and a threat to their business models, which culminated in Adobe eliminating the popular loading page. From then on, the name Magento simply no longer existed there, although the Magento code base was still available as an open source solution on GitHub was and is still available.

Adobe could have foreseen that this was perhaps not the best idea, as there were already other prominent open source projects at the time of the changes that had undergone similar changes and had successfully "gone down the drain". Examples include the takeover of MySQL by Oracle, which resulted in the compatible MariaDB, or Elasticsearch, which was also forked as the open source search engine OpenSearch following Amazon's involvement.

Mage-OS the community fork for Magento

In September 2021, a small but prominent group from the Magento community formed and published the open letter "The Future of Magento", in which they expressed their concerns about Adobe's actions. This open letter was signed by a total of 1,641 community members.

In retrospect, this can be seen as the birth of Mage-OS which can now be considered a separate, open source community fork of Magento 2 and is compatible with Magento 2.

In the meantime, the Magento Association, which is financed and controlled by Adobe, was able to recruit the former CEO of TYPO3 GmbH, Matthias Schreiber, as Executive Director in December 2022. Since November 2023, Matthias Schreiber has been trying to unite the commonalities of Mage-OS and the Mag ento Association and coordinate cooperation in various community projects.

Mage-OS has now transformed from a pure community project to the Mage-OS Association. The Mage-OS Association and the TYPO3 Association have now established contact with each other and are engaged in a lively exchange of experiences, accompanied by web-vision Managing Director and TYPO3 Association Vice President Boris Hinzer.

Magento vs. Mage-OS vs. AdobeCommerce - an interim conclusion

Magento currently exists as an open source project, Mage-OS as a compatible community fork of Magento and Adobe Commerce as a commercial offshoot of Adobe, and all systems are largely compatible with each other and can therefore use some of the same or similar developments.

Magento - advantages and disadvantages


  • High flexibility: Magento is known for its high level of customizability and flexibility. It allows merchants to design and expand their online stores according to their specific needs.
  • Large community: With an extensive community of developers, agencies and users, Magento offers a wealth of resources, extensions, add-ons, themes and support for the development and support of an online store. The further development of Magento is primarily carried out by the open source community.
  • Feature-rich: Magento offers a wide range of features, including advanced SEO settings, marketing tools and extensive catalog management options. Functions that are not directly accessible with the basic Magento system are often available as extensions or modules. For example, a fully automated translation via DeepL is available for Magento from the Extendware brand.


  • Resource-intensive: Magento can be resource-intensive, which requires powerful hosting solutions to ensure optimal speed and performance. Furthermore, the Magento service provider and hoster should be able to handle this.
  • Costs: Although the Community Edition is free, the costs for additional extensions or customizations can be high, but this ultimately depends on the requirements and wishes of the online store operator. Store operators should always ensure that efficient and modern theme approaches such as Hyvä are used. In this way, costly developments and optimization for better loading times or to achieve Google Core Web Vitals can be avoided.
  • Complexity: The complexity of Magento can be overwhelming for beginners. Setting up and managing a Magento store requires technical know-how, which can be obtained from service providers, freelancers or a Magento agency such as web-vision.

Adobe Commerce - advantages and disadvantages

Adobe Commerce is the premium version of Magento, which is offered directly by Adobe on request.


  • Enterprise-level features: Adobe Commerce offers advanced features designed specifically for businesses, including better performance, scalability and security.
  • Integration with Adobe products: As part of the Adobe ecosystem, Adobe Commerce offers seamless integrations with other Adobe products such as Analytics, Marketing Cloud, Adobe Stockphotos, etc.
  • Professional support: Adobe offers professional support and advice, which can be beneficial for large organizations. So if you need service level agreement directly from the vendor, rather than from a service provider or agency, you are in good hands with Adobe Commerce.


  • Higher costs: Adobe Commerce is significantly more expensive than Magento open source, which makes it less accessible for smaller companies. Extensions such as third-party extensions are also generally more expensive than for Magento open source, as developers must have the testing infrastructure, the Adobe Marketplace procedure and also corresponding code tests ready for the less widespread Adobe Commerce platform.
  • Complexity: Like Magento, Adobe Commerce can be complex to set up and manage. Since only Adobe Commerce partners should be selected for support and expansion, the number of service providers is reduced in contrast to Magento. However, web-vision, as an Adobe Commerce Bronze Partner, also provides services optimized for Adobe Commerce.
  • Resource intensive: Similar to Magento, Adobe Commerce requires powerful servers and optimization for optimal performance.
  • Less distribution and less development: Almost all developments for Adobe Commerce originate from the Magento open source version. Enterprise features are rarely ported back to Magento Open Source. Due to the lower distribution, third-party extensions in particular are more expensive and less frequently available.

Mage-OS - advantages and disadvantages

Mage-OS is a development offshoot (fork) of Magento, which was created after the takeover of Magento by Adobe and is available as open source on GitHub.


  • 100% open source: Mage-OS remains a completely open platform, which means that users have the freedom to customize the code according to their needs. As the code originates from Magento Open-Source, almost all developments for Magento can also be used for Mage-OS.
  • 100% community-driven: Mage-OS development is driven by a dedicated community focused on user needs. As the overlap between the Magento community and Mage-OS is large, it is to be expected that many Magento contributors will also be involved in Mage-OS.
  • Continuous updates: Mage-OS promises regular updates and improvements based on feedback and requests from the community.


  • Younger community: Compared to Magento, the community around Mage-OS is younger, which can lead to fewer available resources and support. It remains to be seen whether the current initiatives for a Mage-OS Association (similar to the TYPO3 Association) and the planned collaboration with the Magento Association will bear fruit.
  • Uncertainty: As a newer player on the market, there is some uncertainty regarding the long-term stability and support of Mage-OS. The Mage-OS Association will have to work hard in the coming months and years to transport the broad approval from the Magento community into the Mage-OS community, to generate the financial basis via the member status and thus create a foundation for the further development of Mage-OS.
  • Possible compatibility issues: Compatibility issues with some Magento extensions and tools may arise if the Mage-OS code continues to evolve from Magento open source. Here the Mage-OS community is required to weigh up compatibility and functions or offer possible migration paths.

Magento or Mage-OS or Adobe Commerce - Conclusion

The choice between Magento, Mage-OS and Adobe Commerce depends heavily on a company's specific needs and resources. Magento offers a flexible and feature-rich platform, but is complex and resource-intensive.

Mage-OS offers a community-driven alternative with a focus on openness and customizability, but is still in the early stages of development.

Adobe Commerce, on the other hand, is ideal for large companies that need a robust, scalable solution with professional support, but at a higher cost.

No matter which platform you choose as a store operator, web-vision supports you as a Magento agency, as a service provider for Mage OS or as an Adobe Commerce Solution Partner.

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