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Windows into Linux world

The founder of a leading Linux Web site will announce next week that he's creating a similar site for Linux rival Windows.

The founder of a popular Web site devoted to Linux used in gadgets such as handheld computers will announce next week plans to cover Linux rival Windows as well.

On Tuesday, Rick Lehrbaum, executive editor of LinuxDevices.com, will announce the creation of WindowsForDevices.com, devoted to news of computing devices outside Microsoft's traditional domain in PCs and servers.

Microsoft is the anchor sponsor for the new section, Lehrbaum said, allowing him to hire an editor to run the site. Sponsorship for the Linux site comes chiefly from embedded Linux companies Red Hat, TimeSys and Lineo.

The new site, like the existing Linux site, will have news, links to other stories, lists of device descriptions and forums for readers to chat.

The embedded software world isn't as emotionally charged as subjects where Linux and Windows are at loggerheads, Lehrbaum said. "Embedded developers are not religious fanatics. They're pragmatists."

Microsoft has been keen to get some of the attention shown on Linux in this blossoming area of computing. Embedded computing is getting more important as microchips spread to everything from automobiles to alarm clocks.

The software giant has operating systems, including Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded, that are designed for devices such as handheld computers and slot machines.

Linux is beginning to make inroads in devices such as high-speed Ethernet switches, but Wind River Systems is the company to beat in the embedded market. Its VxWorks operating system is used in everything from nerve gas detectors to Formula One race cars.

The company Lehrbaum runs, DeviceForge, also operates a site DesktopLinux.com, which covers more mainstream use of the Unix-like operating system. The Linux sites will be independent from the Windows sites, he said.