Lineo Moves Linux Into Set-Top Internet Access Market

Lineo, Inc., formerly known as Caldera Thin Clients, has announced an agreement with MeterNet Corp. that is designed to power the set-top TV Internet access market with the Linux operating system (OS).

MeterNet’s new wb8680L set-top product, designed for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), will run Embrowser, Lineo’s graphical embedded micro Web browser for Linux. “Companies building a customer loyalty base, like online banking, will use the mid-range device to increase Internet-based interaction and secure e-commerce transactions,” said a joint statement.

The Lineo product was chosen, according to MeterNet, because it will lend OEM customers a greater degree of flexibility over other platform-based solutions. The first Linux-based devices — which will utilize a Cyrix processor and broadband Ethernet connection for access via cable, DSL or satellite — is set to ship in the first quarter of 2000.

“Lineo and MeterNet have defined a new product category” created by customer demand, commented Lineo CEO Bryan Sparks. “The new Linux version will enable us to leverage many standard technologies, including media streaming, into applications that demand scalability and increased set-top performance.”

About Embrowser

The Embrowser product is also positioned as a base for other embedded solutions such as digital imaging devices, hand held devices, point-of-sale terminals, single board computers, single task processors, networking infrastructure components and computers. Lineo is looking to push its Linux-based solutions into a new arena.

“Embrowser gives control of the look, feel and user experience of the Internet set-top interface and navigation screens to the OEM manufacturer,” said Sparks. “The first thing a consumer sees at power on is what the OEM wants them to see, not the branding and controlled content of the underlying software company.”

Linux Compatibility

In other Linux embedded news, KeyLabs this week announced that the SLX2020 network appliance by Motorola Computer Group (MCG) has been successfully tested with several Linux distributions. The SLX202 has been certified compatible with OpenLinux 2.2 and 2.3 by Caldera Systems, Red Hat 6.0, SuSE Linux 6.1 and TurboLinux 3.0.1.

MCG, a Lineo strategic partner and provider of embedded computing technology, recently disclosed what it calls a Unified Linux Strategy, one “that will provide its OEM customers with a broad selection of Linux-based platforms, open source software, service and support, training, and integration services.”

A featured product of the Linux strategy, the SLX network appliance is aimed at Internet, intranet and extranet networking applications, such as Web access, caching, security and virtual private networks (VPNs).

“We look forward to the benefits of open-source software, the ability to work with Linux and to share source code with that community, our partners and customers,” said an MCG spokesperson upon announcing the company’s moves to provide Linux-based solutions.

KeyLabs is a Lindon, Utah-based independent facility that provides benchmarking, e-commerce stress and security testing, performance analysis, proof-of-concept and security testing.

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