"Imagine for a moment that you're a hardware vendor with a
big idea for an Internet Appliance, and you're trying to decide
whether to build it on top of BeOS or Linux. At first blush, it
might seem that Linux makes the better choice. After all, Linux is
free, right? And with all of those developers out there,
programming away in their spare time, your product benefits by
riding on all those free development cycles. Right?"
"It's not that simple."
"When Free Isn't FreeCertainly, you get the Linux kernel and the
architecture for free, not to mention piles of software. But
appliances have very different needs from desktop computers and
servers. You don't create an Internet Appliance by slapping a
generic Linux distribution on a small machine and putting an "Order
Pizza" key on the keyboard. Consider these criteria, which any
potential appliance vendor must have at or near the top of their