News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

MontaVista turns ten

Jul 13, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

MontaVista Software announced its 10-year anniversary celebration today, and has published a web page in honor of the event. According to the embedded Linux software pioneer, there are over 60 million devices running MontaVista Linux today.

The year 1999 was generally considered to be the birth of embedded Linux, at least according to a panel of industry pioneers who gathered in January for a 10-year anniversary event at the Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference. One of the speakers at the event was MontaVista CTO Jim Ready (pictured below, right), who founded the embedded Linux development company that year, sparking an enormously diverse industry that has spread around the world over the last decade. The panel was hosted by another embedded technology pioneer, Rick Lehrbaum, now editor of DeviceGuru, who in the year 2000, founded LinuxDevices.

Jim Ready

MontaVista stood alone for many years as the dominant embedded Linux leader with its MontaVista Hard Hat Linux commercial distribution and subsequent MontaVista Linux releases. Then Wind River expanded into embedded Linux from its base with the VxWorks real-time OS, and a lively rivalry has held sway for many years.

Now that Wind River has agreed to be acquired by Intel this summer, the nature of that rivalry has changed, although it exact ramifications have yet to be determined. (See our recent interview with MontaVista VP of Marketing Joerg Bertholdt for more on MontaVista's take on Intel's Wind River acquisition, here.)

This summer is also an important period for MontaVista, as it plans to ship its recently announced MontaVista Linux 6, a substantial reorganization of the product that breaks down the distribution by semiconductor architecture in so-called "Market Specific Distributions" (MSDs).

On its anniversary web page, MontaVista offers a company timeline, along with videos by Jim Ready and others. Here is our own timeline of MontaVista's first ten years, with links to LinuxDevices stories on major products introduced over the last decade:

Stated Stephen Balacco, director, Embedded Software and Tools Practice, at VDC Research Group, "In an ever-changing competitive landscape they are a trusted supplier, constant innovator and contributor to embedded Linux and the open source community."

Stated Jim Ready, Founder and CTO of MontaVista, "At the time the company was founded, the market was highly fragmented, comprised of many proprietary embedded real-time operating system offerings. I founded MontaVista with the goal of bringing the full benefits of open source Linux to embedded developers. People said we were crazy, but we quickly proved otherwise, and today Linux has become the OS of choice for new embedded device designs."

MontaVista's 10-Year Anniversary web page, which includes a video address from Jim Ready, may be found here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.