Motorola/Lineo Announcement

Motorola, a major player in the embedded systems market, announced it will begin using Lineo's Embedix, based on Caldera's OpenLinux, in its products. A very exciting announcement in the area on which the October Linux Journal will focus.
Brian Sparks, Lineo

I'd like to give you a bit of context, as Lineo may be a name you haven't heard before. Lineo was formerly running under the name Caldera Thin Clients, which on July 20 was renamed Lineo to reflect an emphasis on embedded Linux. Lineo's core focus is in defining the embedded systems Linux market segment and maintaining a market leader position in that market. Lineo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caldera Inc., which I helped found five years ago to advance Linux software acceptance in the market. For the past several years, Lineo and Caldera Thin Clients has given rebirth to DR DOS in the embedded market and developed relationships with key OEMs and other market vendors in the embedded space. Embedding Linux, we feel, is a natural evolution for our company with a successful history in the embedded market and with several years' knowledge in Linux. Lineo creates an embedded Linux product under the name Embedix; we license OpenLinux from Caldera Systems, which Ransom is going to describe and I'm sure many of you already know. We target OpenLinux into the embedded market. We feel the new relationship with Motorola is significant. The Motorola Computer Group, of which we are a part, has a large emphasis not only in telecom but in other embedded devices. They are a large system board vendor, both Power PC-based and X86-based, both of which we'll be targeting with our embedded Linux solution.

How are we going to sell this product? Why is it unique? We are actually developing two products. We are developing a developer platform on which the OEM developer will sit at as he targets embedded Linux solutions. We are adding appropriate capabilities and functionalities so that the developer can choose the functionality suite he or she wants on the target board. We are targeting both Power PC and X86, as I mentioned. Our competitors in this space are the traditional real-time operating systems. Thus, we have to be cognizant of the features they offer to their customer base as we are encroaching in their space. We think we offer a very competitive product and a well-positioned one. It will take a significant part of that market share quickly, partly because of the popularity of Linux, and secondly, the natural evolution we feel that Linux offers in the embedded market. We will be adding real-time extensions to the kernel as appropriate for our customers. We will offer products competitive with other vendors in the real-time OS space. We feel we are well-positioned, and with OpenLinux, we have a stable platform on which to encroach this new market.

Ransom Love, Caldera Systems

Caldera Systems has been a leader in providing Linux for business solutions that enable the development and deployment of Linux-based Internet devices and appliances that range from embedded solutions all the way to high-end servers. We market those products through a worldwide channel of OEMs, VARs and integrators. We feel it's critical to productize Linux to provide these types of business solutions, and thus, we have partnered with Lineo because of their expertise in the embedded side to deliver the exclusive OpenLinux offering to their embedded customers. So we are excited about that component, and now many of those VARs and Integrators we work with are looking for and are already deploying high-availability, mission-critical applications and thus the announcement with Motorola is key. They show a great deal of leadership in integrating OpenLinux and Embedix into their high-availability hardware solutions, which I think meet a very real market need. We are very excited about the complete relationship.

Caldera also focuses on providing a full range of service and educational courses, where they are partnering with authorized training centers. Motorola wants to provide a full set of services to their OEM customers, and we are looking ahead to working with Motorola in providing these types of solutions in order to move forward.

Caldera Systems, as I mentioned, is Linux for business. We are focused on delivering all solutions needed by those wanting to deploy these types of Internet applications and the Internet appliance solution which need to be effective in deploying them in an actual business setting. Therefore, we think this announcement of a combination of expertise and focuses in key markets is a very significant announcement in the industry. Obviously, Motorola brings their leadership in providing both embedded and high-availability solutions, and Lineo and Caldera Systems bring their Linux expertise. We are looking forward to seeing the result—the actual business solutions—this partnership will bring to the industry as it moves forward.