Japanese giants to cooperate on Linux

Japanese consortium fancies its chances with Linux

Twenty-three Japanese firms have allied to cooperate on developing new Linux operating systems for electronic devices, say reports Thursday.

The Japanese consumer electronics companies hope to develop a Linux inspired open OS which can be modified for use on specific devices such as next generation mobile phones.

And the plans carry some heavyweight backers including Toshiba, Sony, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Mitsubishi. The key Linux distributor involved in the deal is TurboLinux Japan, a sub-division of Turbo Linux. Members of the new consortium will agree on key developments and share information concerning modifications for specific hardware platforms.

Because Linux is open source software, the companies will be able to make developments and share information without incurring extra cost -- providing modifications are also published openly.

"In a post-PC era where mobile phones and other digital products such as televisions replace PCs, it is natural for any manufacturer to use other makers' operating systems -- whichever fits best to each product field," president of electronics company Matsushita, Kunio Nakamura, said.

Linux -- a moderately successful desktop alternative to the Microsoft Windows operating system -- is currently a growing in force as an embedded OS for electronic devices.

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