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CNET: Chipmakers angle for Linux support

Sep 01, 2001, 10:10 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Shankland)
"Linux--with a strong developer community and a flexibility that allows the Unix clone to run on numerous chips--has become an asset the chipmakers want on their sides as they prepare future chip designs. Linux has become a tool to secure quick support for a new chip. 'Linux gets software into market more quickly than waiting for support from Microsoft,' said Mercury Research analyst Dean McCarron. 'Linux is a wonderful operating system for rapid deployment. The Microsoft operating systems ultimately get used in very large volume, but when (a chip) is first coming out, those operating systems aren't typically available.'

Linux has been running on 64-bit chips such as Compaq's Alpha, SGI's MIPS and Sun's UltraSparc for years, but Windows is a relative newcomer, with a first, limited 64-bit version arriving this week. And Microsoft, with conservative customers and huge support costs for new products, moves more deliberately than the comparatively freewheeling Linux community."

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