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Red Hat, 3G Lab developing “wireless Linux”? No, it’s eCos!

Jul 30, 2001 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Contrary to the headline of a Reuters news release (“Red Hat and 3G Lab team up to make 'wireless Linux' “), Red Hat and 3G Lab are not developing a wireless version of Linux for webphones.

According to the Reuters story, “Red Hat and Britain's closely held 3G Lab said on Monday they will develop a 'Linux for the wireless world' as they team up to write an operating system for Web phones.”

The story goes on to say “the software that will create the groundwork for new applications on mobile phones will be 'open source,' meaning that all the code will be published on the Internet and available to everyone.”

“Linux is also a free 'open source' operating system (OS) that has made major inroads in the computer industry as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows and a host of Unix and mainframe operating systems,” continues the Reuters story.

“The two companies will take on established names such as Psion-owned Symbian and Microsoft which have already developed their own operating systems for a new generation of smartphones and between them gained support of all of the major mobile phone manufacturers,” says Reuters.

However, the Reuters story is wrong in labeling the new webphone-oriented OS as “Linux”. It's actually based on Red Hat's eCos operating system rather than on Linux, as indicated later in the Reuters story itself . . .

“The first strings of software code, based on Red Hat's existing open software eCOS hidden in products like printers and MP3 music players, will be published on in a few months time when the first usable software is expected, said Bob Last, director of sales and marketing at 3G Lab. The new software, to be called eCos/M3, will have specific features that maximise battery life and makes sure streaming data such as audio and video will be delivered instantaneously.”

In contrast with Red Hat's efforts of adapting eCos to the smart phone and mobile device market, a number of Embedded Linux software suppliers have created implementations of Linux for use in similar applications.

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