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Wind River, MontaVista tussle over embedded Linux

Wind River unveils upgrade to developer tools that lets programmers use them to configure MontaVista's Linux and embed it into devices.

The rivalry between Wind River Systems and MontaVista Software warmed up this week in the market for Linux in embedded-computing devices such as cell phones and network equipment.

At Wind River's user conference Monday, the company announced an upgrade to its Workbench developer tools that encroaches on MontaVista's turf. Developer tools are a key part of embedded-computing technology, and Workbench now can be used to configure MontaVista's Linux and embed it into devices.

MontaVista, which would prefer that programmers use its own DevRocket programming tools, isn't taking Wind River's moves passively. It distributed flyers to Wind River show attendees that touted the fact that MontaVista focuses solely on Linux, whereas Wind River divides its focus between Linux and its proprietary VxWorks operating system.

"Recently, vendors new to the Linux market have demonstrated how little they understand Linux," the flyer said, spotlighting the split priorities between VxWorks and Linux as well as Wind River's scrapped plan to use another open source operating system, BSD.

It's not the first instance of sniping between the companies. In a recent interview, Wind River Chief Executive Ken Klein likened MontaVista to a rodent that's suffered through several experiments. "They've been the unfortunate red-eyed mouse here and have made a lot of mistakes in terms of their business model," he said.

Wind River's Workbench also can be used with Wind River Linux, the standard Linux kernel available at kernel.org and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Wind River has a partnership with Red Hat, though the companies scaled it back from its original ambitions.