Lineo Buys Canadian Company, Signs Deals in Korea

SAN FRANCISCO (02/24/2000) - Embedded Linux operating system vendor Lineo Inc. has acquired Rt-Control Inc., the Canadian developer of the uClinux OS for microcontrollers, the U.S. company announced yesterday. Also yesterday, Lineo confirmed the signing of partnerships with two South Korean equipment manufacturers that plan to use the vendor's Embedix Linux operating system in their Internet appliances.

Adding Rt-Control's uClinux to its product portfolio should help expand the range of devices that Linux cost-effectively can run on to include both cell phones and cars, Lineo said in a statement issued yesterday. The open-source operating system first caught on among corporate customers as an alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT OS. Late last year, desktop versions of Linux begun to surface and now the race is on to have the OS running on smaller and smaller devices.

Lineo did not reveal financial terms of the purchase of the eight-person Canadian company. Rt-Control is the U.S. vendor's second purchase of the year, following Lineo's acquisition of real-time Linux specialist Zentropix earlier this month. Following both investments, Lineo now has office locations in Taipei, Toronto, Virginia, Washington and the U.K., in addition to the company's headquarters in Utah.

The U.S. Linux company signed partnerships late last week with South Korean companies Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. Ltd. and DaiShin Information & Communications Co. Ltd. (DSIC), Lineo said in a statement issued yesterday. The deals follow Asian Internet appliance-related tie-ups Lineo announced Feb. 16 with six Taiwanese embedded systems manufacturers. [See "Lineo Moves Into Asian Net Appliance Arena," Feb. 18.]Samsung intends to use Lineo's Embedix Linux and Embedix Browser in PDAs (personal digital assistants) and set-top boxes, according to Lineo. DaiShin's partnership with Lineo includes 400,000 licenses for Embedix for use in wireless mobile devices, home networking and industrial Net appliances.

In other news, Lineo yesterday at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, also announced that its Linux-based Embedix Browser for x86 systems is now available for use by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) who can then determine how the browser will be branded. Embedix Browser supports 128-bit encryption through its use of Legal SSL (secure sockets layer), Lineo said. The software also supports double-byte character sets so that it can display language fonts requiring such support including Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

As well as developing and selling embedded Linux operating system and application software, Lineo is the owner of the DR-DOS operating system.

Caldera Inc., Lineo's parent company, reached an out-of-court settlement with Microsoft Corp. last month related to a long-standing antitrust complaint.

Caldera alleged that Microsoft had abused its dominant position in the OS market preventing DR-DOS from competing against the software giant's rival operating system MS-DOS. [See "UPDATE: Microsoft Settles Caldera Antitrust Suit," Jan. 10.]Lineo, based in Lindon, Utah, can be reached at +1-801-426-5001 or via the Internet at Rt-Control, based in Toronto, can be reached at +1-416-241-2708 or via the Internet at

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