Xandros, which makes the Windows-like Linux distribution used in ASUS's popular Eee PC sub-laptop, has signed a deal with information-management software maker Viyya Technologies to jointly target portable devices such as laptops and mobile Internet devices.
The move is an indication of the growing popularity of Linux on portable devices, the two companies said.
Besides the Eee PC, mobile Linux has come into the spotlight recently with Nokia's purchase of Trolltech and the release of the LiMo Foundation's mobile Linux platform, among other events.
Xandros and Viyya said they would jointly market an integrated, Linux-based software system designed for micro-laptops such as the Eee, as well as mobile Internet devices, such as those based on Intel's mobile Internet device (MID) specification.
Viyya already has experience with MIDs. The company makes enterprise-oriented software aimed at organising information from the Internet, intranets, e-mail and other sources on multiple devices, including laptops and mobile devices.
The two companies intend to tackle not just information distribution but also device management, they said.
Xandros already makes a management tool called BridgeWays, and last week introduced a version of the application designed for Microsoft System Center (MSC), able to handle environments running both Linux and Windows operating systems.
The software follows on from a 2007 agreement between Xandros and Microsoft, under which the two companies agreed to work on improving interoperability. Controversially, under the same agreement Xandros also agreed to buy protection from lawsuits over Microsoft patents.
Xandros and Viyya said they have signed an initial letter of intent and will come to a formal business arrangement within 30 days.