.: osCommerce was started in March 2000 in Germany by project founder and leader Harald Ponce de Leon as The Exchange Project. While osCommerce is still officially in its development stage, the current Milestone 2.2 release (Release Candidate 2a) is considered stable. As of August 2008 the osCommerce site says that there are over 14,000 'live' websites using the program. This number is almost certainly conservative, given the inclusion of osCommerce in hosting panel application installers such as Fantastico (web hosting) and its dependency on osCommerce users linking their sites into the osCommerce Live Stores listings.