"Microsoft Corp.'s effort to become the dominant software
provider for consumer electronics just hit a bump.
"Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and six other
overseas tech giants are banding together to promote the
development of a competing software, Linux, for devices like cell
phones, DVD players and other gadgets. Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp.,
Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Sharp Corp. and
Toshiba Corp. are the other companies...
"'This is a huge deal to Microsoft,' Eric Raymond, president of
the Open Source Initiative, an agency that promotes the use of
Linux, said. 'Margins on these devices are so thin that (these
companies) can't afford proprietary software licenses any