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Wind River Launches Linux For Cellphones

Alameda, Calif. — Wind River Systems announced it is offering a new Linux software platform for consumer electronics devices that will allow more fully featured cellular phones and digital video products.

The company is delivering what it calls “commercial grade” Linux software that is aimed at smaller CE devices. Because Linux is an open platform, it has the advantage of allowing multiple functions to work together in one device, such as cellular phones that can add music, video, navigation and video games, said Wind River. The first devices using the new Wind River Linux software should be available this fall, said chief marketing officer John Bruggeman.

“What we’re seeing is a seismic shift in the type of devices being delivered to the market. We’re seeing devices that are really multi-application devices such as the Motorola Rokr,” said Bruggeman, referring to the new cellular phone that can store up to 100 iTunes songs. With Linux, he said, these devices could add game software and navigation and more. “One of the reasons you haven’t seen all this in one device is because every device has proprietary technology running under it. So it was hard to get my e-mail and phone devices to work together on two different software platforms,” Bruggeman explained, adding, “Linux is the great unifier.”

While Linux has been available for years, suppliers want a commercial-grade product that is backed by a leading vendor, Bruggeman claimed. Wind River has offered commercial-grade Linux software for larger devices, such as routers and hubs, for the past 18 months, but it is just now shipping its first version for smaller consumer electronics devices, he added.