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CNET News.com: Wintel won't dominate devices, exec says

Jun 16, 2000, 01:05 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Kanellos)

"Chips and operating systems from other companies will likely enjoy a greater degree of prominence in shaping the market for set-top boxes, Net-ready handhelds and other non-PC devices, said Simon Lin, CEO of Acer Information Products Group, the computer arm of the Taiwanese conglomerate."

"Why Microsoft is worried about Sony's growth is because the PlayStation can be used as an Internet device," Lin said. Like the PlayStation, some new devices also do not depend on Microsoft or Intel technology. A survey of appliances at Computex, a recent trade show in Taipei, confirmed this view. A number of manufacturers plan to adopt the open-source Linux operating system over Windows 98 or versions of Windows CE for upcoming set-top boxes and appliances. And, while some are using Intel processors, a number of companies have built designs around Transmeta or National Semiconductor processors."

"While cost is a factor in some of these design decisions, it is not the only factor. Boot-up time can be greatly reduced by using Linux instead of Windows 98, said many sources. The interface can also be customized. Linux is still far from establishing itself as a mainstay, Lin said, but the open-source operating system is helped to a certain degree by timing. Linux is gaining momentum among developers at a time when the device market is taking off."

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