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WideOpenNews: Embedded Linux Looking Lively

May 03, 2000, 04:01 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Satya Kuner)

"Embedded Linux software developer Lineo turned heads Monday when it announced it had received $37 million in funding. Lineo spokeswoman Jennifer Finnlinson says the money will be spent to fuel growth. The company has expanded from 17 employees in September 1999 to 160 this May, thanks to six recent acquisitions. Utah-based Lineo follows competitor Lynx Real-Time Systems in snagging a hefty chunk of change."

"Interest in embedded Linux is gaining ground as devices -- everything from handheld computers to door locks -- get more complex. Advanced hardware requires advanced software, and Linux is a popular platform to go between thanks to its reliability, scalability, and ability to squeeze into small spaces. It's likely that embedded Linux will continue to gain momentum as key hindrances -- such as the inability to execute real-time commands -- are being solved elegantly."

"But open sourcers beware: in the still-green embedded scene, Linux does not necessarily mean open source. OnCore Systems' software foundation, which allows a standard version of Linux to run real-time commands, is proprietary. In fact, most of the embedded software development environments are proprietary. Metrowerks, for example, retails its embedded development environment for most platforms for $2500, with a Linux version expected soon. It recently, however, stepped conspicuously into a founding role with the Embedded Linux Consortium."

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