NY Times: Transmeta’s Stock Offering May Buck a Cooling Trend

“In January, a semiconductor company called Transmeta promised
technology that would allow laptop computer batteries to last a
full workday. Though such long-lasting laptops are at least weeks
away from their planned delivery date — Transmeta has signed deals
with prominent computer makers, including I.B.M. and Sony — the
company has filed for an initial offering.”

That public stock offering is widely expected to get a
blazing reception, despite a market far cooler to new technology
offerings than last year’s.
After all, the company is backed
by two prominent billionaire investors, the financier George Soros
and Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Its star employee is Linus
Torvalds, the 30-year-old native of Finland who created the free
Linux operating system and who is revered by many young
programmers. And its Crusoe processors promise to be contenders in
a rapidly growing market for laptops and mobile computing

“Still, some professional investors are not too optimistic about
how the dust will settle after the offering. They point out that
the devices with Transmeta processors have not yet reached the
public, and the company has recorded $119.4 million in losses in
just over five years. And then there is Intel. Though technology
analysts say Transmeta’s technology will have advantages in the
mobile computing market, Intel has proved a fierce competitor time
and again.”

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