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MontaVista adds IM to Linux

Linux software supplier MontaVista Software has added instant messaging capabilities to the embedded version of its operating system via a deal with Finnish instant messaging (IM) software maker Movial. MontaVista execs say the deal calls for Movial to port its IM application to the MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition (CEE) implementation of the open-source operating system.

MontaVista Linux is the umbrella name for the company's family of Linux operating systems, which includes the flagship MontaVista Linux Professional Edition and the recently released MontaVista Linux CEE. Helsinki-based Movial's IM software supports a variety of standard protocols and technologies for Linux and Java devices connected to fixed and wireless networks.

''Movial is an experienced consumer electronics software vendor. By teaming up with Movial, we can deliver both system and application software to the global market,'' said Sheila Baker, vice president, marketing, MontaVista Software. ''We expect the use of embedded Linux in consumer electronics to grow very rapidly, with MontaVista Software providing value-added solutions through strategic partners, such as Movial, to meet customers' needs.''

CEE is designed for consumer electronics applications, such as mobile phones, digital televisions, set-top boxes and automotive telematics. It targets consumer device-specific CPUs, primarily the Texas Instruments OMAP 1510 and OMAP 5910, and the IBM PowerPC 405LP.

According to Baker, CEE is tailored to the demands of highly constrained mobile devices, which require low power consumption, restricted memory size, and short boot and resume times. The 3.0 version incorporates file-system enhancements and new tools to measure performance, system timing and memory size. CEE supports XIP (eXecute In Place) of the kernel and applications, as well as streaming media optimizations. It is designed to integrate with consumer market middleware, such as the J2ME-compatible WebSphere Micro Environment from IBM, and graphics packages such as QT/E from Trolltech and MontaVista Graphics.

Movial's communication software offerings include Wireless Instant Messaging and Remote Diagnostics software. The company has developed Wireless IM apps for smart devices based on various standard protocols. The company's messaging products incorporate real-time communication and messaging over fixed and mobile networks through SIP/SIMPLE, Wireless Village and Jabber, as well as other technologies such as J2ME. These products are interoperable with MontaVista Linux and the WebSphere Micro Environment for MontaVista Linux -- MontaVista Software's Java product offering.

''Our vision,'' said Movial CEO Jari Ala-Ruona, ''is that Linux will be everywhere; partnering with MontaVista Software, building on the recently released MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition, fits perfectly with our corporate strategy and roadmap.''

The companies also announced that Movial would port other existing and future products to the MontaVista operating system based on customer demand. Although they have no plans to resell each other's products or to co-develop any products, the two firms do intend to make sure that their products are interoperable.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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