Network operating systems software vendor Vita Nuova aims to
promote Lucent's Inferno operating system as open source
Inferno was originally developed by Lucent in 1997 for network
devices and internet appliances, and was intended to be pitched
Lucent currently uses Inferno in its Softswitch and Pathstar
Access Server products, but Vita Nuova, which now has exclusive
global rights to the operating system, plans to incorporate it into
Vita Nuova is also making Inferno available under a
subscription-based licence similar to that used by open source
software vendors. A yearly subscription costs $300 (£198) and
includes the source code to Inferno, ports to a range of
architectures, Inferno manual and papers, a C cross compiler and
access to updates. Academic subscriptions are available at $150 and
corporate subscriptions start at $1000.
Tom Uhlman, president of Lucent's new venture group, said
the combination of Linux's rapid rise, the possible breakup of
Microsoft and the introduction of pervasive computing has made the
market more receptive to products such as Inferno.
Michael Jeffrey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vita
Nuova, said: "Inferno provides a simple, complete and scalable
design across a wide range of hardware and can be implemented in as
little as a few hundred bytes.
"We have exclusive global rights and life has never been
The technology will be of interest to academia, large companies
and device manufacturers, added Jeffrey.
The idea behind Inferno was originally conceived four years ago
by Dennis Ritchie, co-inventor of the Unix system and creator of
the C programming language. Bell Labs' Lucent research arm will
continue to support Inferno under a joint development agreement
with Vita Nuova.
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