Lineo Delivers Linux-Driven Internet Access to Asia

Lineo, Inc., formerly known as Caldera Thin Clients, has made a significant move on the burgeoning market for Internet access in the Asia-Pacific region by announcing strategic relationships with several Taiwan-based embedded system manufacturers.

The agreements, with Arima, Compal Electronics, First International Computer (FIC), Micro-Star, Mitac and Wisecom, will bring Embedix — Lineo’s embedded Linux product line — to Asian consumers through the companies’ Internet appliance products.

According to Lineo CEO Bryan Sparks, the partnerships “will encourage the broad deployment of Internet appliances and other embedded devices throughout the Asian market, including countries like mainland China, India and others, where traditional PCs have not experienced a high rate of adoption among small businesses and home consumers.”

Lineo also announced the establishment of a development and testing center that will be based out of its existing Taiwan sales office. Embedix, which is based on the Caldera Systems OpenLinux distribution, allows OEM developers to test and implement embedded Linux on their specific hardware solutions.

Explosive Market

IT research specialist firm The Yankee Group has predicted that the number of Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region will exceed 374 million by 2005, up from a 1998 total of approximately 39 million users. According to the Yankee Group, traditional barriers to Internet usage growth — which include commercial and regulatory issues — have begun to change, accounting for much of the expansion.

Lineo has forecasted that Linux technology will emerge as a dominant force in the overall Asia-Pacific Internet access market, pushing embedded solutions to the top of the desktop market. “The year 2000 is the year of embedded Linux,” added Sparks.

About Lineo

Lineo is a developer of embedded Linux-based applications and software, helping OEMs to expand the market for Internet access-enabling embedded devices. The company produces the Embedix line of products, which includes Embedix Linux, Embedix SDK and the Embedix Browser.

February 17: Linux Demo Day

In other Linux-related news, Intel employee Deepak Saxena is joining members of the open-source community to stage Linux Demo Day on Thursday, an international event to help promote the open-source OS. Sponsored by numerous Linux companies, including Caldera Systems, Red Hat and SuSE, the event is scheduled to coincide with Microsoft’s highly anticipated launch of the Windows 2000 operating system product.

Linux Demo Day, which was designed as an educational event, comes on the heels of some disquieting news for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: Dell), stated last week that few of his company’s corporate clients were ordering hardware upgrades for the Windows 2000 release, and that Linux is gaining significant ground on Microsoft. Shares of the Redmond, Washington-based software titan dropped significantly following Dell’s remarks.

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