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Open Source IT: Is Linux the Embedded Operating System of the Future?

Jun 06, 2000, 16:15 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Compton)

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"...it may actually be Linux that ascends to the top of the heap in the $3.5 billion-per-year market for embedded system development tools. Enthusiasm for embedded Linux systems has grown dramatically over the past two years--even Linus Torvalds has gone on the record to say that it should be a priority for the open source OS."

"The Embedded Linux Consortium, barely a couple of months old, already boasts 78 member organizations, most of which take the venture seriously enough to front the $5,000 premium level membership cost. "Promotion of Linux as a solution for embedded applications is our goal," says Murry Shohat, acting executive director. "The key is marketing and promotion. The longer-range goal is what you see many consortia doing: standards and intellectual property promotion." In other words, don't count on the group to vote on a rigid spec for real-time Linux any time soon."

"...with major electronics companies such as cell phone manufacturer Nokia turning to ROM-based Linux to drive their consumer and industrial devices, anything is possible. "Never underestimate the programming bandwidth of over 12,000 open source developers around the world," says Lineo's Drabik. And if they adopt the embedded market with the same enthusiasm they've shown for Linux on servers and desktops, embedded computing could be just another step for Linux on the path to World Domination."

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