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.

Our upcoming October issue will focus on Linux and embedded systems, and much excitement currently surrounds this arena. Notably, the rumors concerning a partnership between Motorola and the newly named Lineo (formerly, Caldera Thin Clients). On August 5, I participated in a conference call with Noel Lesniak, the Business Manager of Linux Telecom Platforms for the Motorola Computer Group; Brian Sparks, the CEO of Lineo; and Ransom Love, the CEO of Caldera Systems. Here's what they had to say.

Noel Lesniak, Motorola

On Monday, August 9, the Motorola Computer Group is announcing a unified Linux strategy that provides our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers with a broad selection of Linux based platforms, open source software, service and support, training and integration services. In support of this broad initiative, we're collaborating with two leaders in the Linux community, Lineo and Caldera Systems. As always, MCG is committed to providing our customers with the solutions they need to help them succeed in today's global marketplace. We believe that combined with the right hardware and support, the Linux operating environment is ready for embedded design-ins and deployments in the markets we serve: telecommunications, imaging and industrial automatons. We believe that the reliability, performance and flexibility of Linux as well as an open availability of source code will speed time to market and help reduce development costs for our OEM customers.

When deciding to enter the Linux game, we looked for companies who knew Linux and its environment and whose strategies complemented our own. Lineo, for example, has focused on embedded software products and the OEM markets for many years. They have experience with Linux and the Open Source community and they have an embedded Linux strategy that is complementary to MCG's embedded focus and our Linux strategy. Lineo's focus on customized embedded Linux also fits with our traditional focus of partnering with independent software vendors who develop technology for our embedded market. In addition to embedded Linux, we see a need for a full systems distribution of Linux for our system customers. Caldera Systems has focused on Linux business solutions and has significant experience with the Open Source community and the Linux market.

Caldera Systems has a strong strategy to further develop Linux along with the Open Source community for the mission-critical segment of the high-availability server market. MCG and Caldera Systems are collaborating in bringing high-availability features to the Linux solutions set on Motorola's compact PCI-based systems. On Monday, we are also introducing a network appliance product, the SLX Series, aimed at Internet, intranet and extranet networking applications and the EMS Series for telecommunications and industrial networking applications. The network appliance product is a new family of Linux-based embedded platforms for Internet networking applications such as web access, web security, web caching and virtual private networks. It is aimed at a telecom OEM, which is building network solutions for the growing number of Internet service providers, government and business organizations, work groups and telecommuters requiring cost-effective access to the Internet.

SLX enables these OEMs to deliver low-cost, easy-to-use, reliable and secure Internet connectivity quickly. With the configuration flexibility of the SLX, MCG will provide OEM-specific configurations of the platform to meet each of our OEMs' unique product and marketing needs. The SLX Series will be showcased next week at Linux World Expo. In one demonstration, it will run a live satellite Internet link using satellite access software from Helius. Satellites are ideal for applications such as IP Multicast and remote Internet access. The SLX Series with high performance and low cost is ideal for these demanding satellite services. The other SLX demonstration will feature the instant network out-of-the-box capability of software from Network Concierge. When used with a standard browser and configuration wizard, such as that provided by Network Concierge, the SLX Series eliminates the complexity of integrating a stack of networking and server equipment from multiple vendors.

Also to be announced next week is MCG's EMS Series for Linux. This product is the first in MCG's new line of Intel-based embedded system platforms integrating the Linux operating system. This product can be used to power a variety of telecommunications, Internet and industrial automation applications. This highly scalable and customizable platform helps enable OEMs to deliver cost-effective systems designed to meet an end user's specifications.

OpenLinux from Caldera and Lineo is obviously a large part of these product announcements in our Linux strategy. Working with these companies, we plan to take the lead and expand the reach of Linux into embedded and high-availability markets that require rugged, reliable and scalable products.