Embedded Linux developer buys UK companies

MontaVista Software boosts European presence by absorbing two key affiliates, citing 'phenomenal' growth in demand for embedded Linux

Embedded Linux developer MontaVista Software has absorbed two UK affiliates, which it claims will help meet rising demand for commercial open-source products in Europe.

MontaVista Limited, previously a joint venture between MontaVista Software and private individuals, will now be fully controlled by its parent company. The other company, Liberté, was MontaVista's original distributor in the UK. Both will now operate under the name of MontaVista Software.

"Customers are clamouring for access to scarce kernel-level expertise in real-time Linux, and the acquisition of Liberté and MontaVista Limited expands our experience and capabilities, to provide the services and support they need," said Russell Harris, executive vice president of worldwide field operations at MontaVista Software, on Tuesday.

Embedded Linux is becoming increasingly popular as an operating system for mobile phones, PDAs and consumer items such as portable media players. Indeed, MontaVista Software is a founder member of the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS), along with ARM, France Telecom and PalmSource, which seeks to promote the use of Linux as an alternative to hand-held operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Symbian.

Harris claimed that Linux was becoming "the platform of choice in place of outdated, limited-function [real-time operating systems]" in fields including handsets, telecoms infrastructure and connected consumer devices, and suggested that the European embedded-Linux market was enjoying "phenomenal" growth.

Ian Graham, the director of professional services for MontaVista Software, who used to head both MontaVista Limited and Liberté, said: "With the increase in EMEA capability and focus, we are now well positioned to address the growing demand for the embedded Linux OS and value-added services."