An embedded Linux tsunami washed ashore yesterday in Tokyo. A handful of the world's largest electronics manufacturers, including Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC, and Toshiba, added their weight to the launch of a vendor-neutral Japanese embedded Linux organization. The goal is to promote use of the Linux operating system within a broad spectrum of next-generation intelligent devices. The move adds momentum to the industry trend away from dependance on sole-sourced proprietary operating systems such as those of software titan Microsoft and embedded market leader Wind River.
The Tokyo announcement echoes that of the international Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC) in Chicago, earlier this year. Having several members in common, and borrowing heavily from the language of the ELC's launch announcement
, the EMBLIX launch press release
evidences a nearly identical mission. Compare . . .
Chicago: "Industry leaders launch Embedded Linux Consortium"Groundswell of Embedded Linux Support
Responding to the rising tide of interest in using Linux operating system in embedded applications, representatives from dozens of technology firms today announced formation of the Embedded Linux, or ELC, a vendor-neutral trade association dedicated to the advancement of Linux-based solutions in embedded applications.
Tokyo: "Industry Leaders Launch Embedded Linux Consortium in Japan"
Responding to widespread interest in the Linux operating system for embedded systems, representatives from twenty-four (24) leading companies in Japan . . . announced the formation of EMBLIX, the Japan Embedded Linux Consortium, a vendor-neutral trade association dedicated to the promotion and advancement of Linux-based solutions in embedded applications."
The Tokyo announcement adds substantial impact to the already meteoric growth of the original Embedded Linux Consortium which, in just 120 days, has garnered support from nearly a hundred key embedded market players, including the likes of IBM, Motorola, and Red Hat.
The growth of embedded Linux consortium membership mirrors the unheralded proliferation of Linux itself, which has rapidly catapulted from "cool idea" to "disruptive technology" -- largely without the benefit of massive corporate investments.
Judging by the rate companies are joining embedded Linux consortia, Linux has clearly attained a momentum capable of sweeping the world's giant manufacturers along in its direction.
Think of it as the third wave of Linux:
- First, the grass roots developer movement. Through nearly a decade of free and open sharing of Linux source code via the Internet, it was suddenly "discovered" that a huge number of the world's servers were now running Linux.
- Next, of course, was the past year's stock market roller coaster ride. Linux arrived in world consciousness -- as a potential challenger to the seemingly impenetrable software market dominance of Microsoft.
- Now, the embedded market. Quietly and without much fanfare, Linux has been chosen for use in thousands of the development projects that are creating tomorrow's smart devices. This market, incidentally, is the destination of more than 95% of the world's annual output of some 2 billion microprocessor chips.
If the current trend is any indication, it should come as no surprise to learn, 1-2 years from now, that Linux has quietly become the dominant operating system embedded
within the largely silent and unseen world of smart devices and intelligent systems that surround and support our everyday lives.
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