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Inter@ctive Week: Linux Everywhere: The Penguin Goes Mobile

Jun 26, 2000, 14:41 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Spangler)

"Linux could soon become a major challenger in handheld computers and other portable gadgets. Today, most of the attention in the handheld world is trained on the battle between Palm - which makes the ubiquitous organizer of the same name - and Microsoft, whose Windows CE operating system and Pocket PC device so far have been unsuccessful in unseating Palm. Another handheld device maker attracting notice is Handspring, a licensee of Palm's OS that was started by Palm's co-founders. Handspring's stellar initial public offering last week raised $200 million and gave the company a market value of $3.4 billion after its first day of trading."

"But Linux might well be a dark horse ready to race against Palm, Microsoft and others for mobile devices of all stripes. The open source OS has quietly won over some very big backers in the handheld arena, including Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Intel. These and other companies are actively developing prototypes of devices running lightweight versions of Linux. By year's end, dozens of manufacturers will have Linux-based handheld computers, Web appliances and other gadgets on the market, industry executives predicted."

"We're seeing a ton of development on Linux," said Lynn Comp, product marketing engineer at Intel's handheld computing division, which markets the company's StrongARM microprocessors. "It's going to start showing up a great deal in products over the next 12 to 24 months."

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