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Upside: Embedded Linux Player Stalks Windows CE

Jan 27, 2000, 07:27 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"Lineo, an embedded software spin-off of Caldera Inc. -- parent company of enterprise Linux distributor Caldera Systems -- announced the official release of its embedded Linux distribution, called Embedix Linux 1.0. The company also announced plans to establish a software development facility in the heart of Microsoft-land, Seattle. The objective: create a software layer, dubbed Embedix PDA, which will run atop Embedix, giving users the ability to run Windows CE-based apps on their Linux devices with minimal performance loss...."

"Despite the collective yawn from open source fans already heading out to the parking lot, the Lineo announcement will no doubt have Microsoft executives scouring the technology bullpen for relief. What the new Crusoe chips, with their "code morphing" software, offer to Intel-based software programs, Embedix PDA -- if and when it finally comes out -- proposes to do for Windows CE applications. Like a camouflaged predator disguising itself as the native environment, Embedix PDA hopes to devour the Windows CE operating system market by pretending to be Windows CE, giving applications a chance to ride the low-rent Linux express with zero porting costs...."

"What makes Embedix PDA different, however, is the fact that Windows CE isn't as well protected in the embedded marketplace as its Windows and Windows NT cousins do in their respective jungles. Given the fact that Linux, when combined with the open source Apache Web server, is already creeping toward "category killer" status in the low-end server marketplace, Ball sees a chance to extend that dominance into the market of Internet-connected embedded systems as well."

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