that it runs on our device. That's just not going to happen.
What about the other embedded device manufacturers?
When you're in that kind of niche market then you have all these licensing
restrictions. If you go to them and ask them for their code, but say that
you don't want to pay any licensing fees yet because it's going to take
some time to get your pilot project off the ground, they're just going to
ask you to go away. That's where the power of open source lies. You can
cut through all the red tape. People who need to do something new and
exciting can just go out and do it. 99% percent of those will fail but the
1% that succeed will make a really big difference. That's why Linux is
really popular in embedded devices. Part of the reason that Linux was not
popular before, was that embedded devices hadn't grown up. Four years ago,
you had to have special tailored operating systems because you didn't have
space to do a really generic one. Devices have finally grown up to the
point where the complexity that you can afford to have has also grown up.
Most people want to be on the Internet which requires robust support for
networking. You need a real OS for that. A lot of these factors have come
together in the past year or so. There has been a lot of interest in
embedded Linux as a result of that.
Do you get a lot of developers from India?
Not that many. I think one of the problems is infrastructure. Even if
you have universities with lots of Linux work, it's quite hard. They may
not have Internet access or very slow Internet access. I think they're
also not used to this kind of collaboration over the Internet. They're
probably kind of nervous.
Any message for them that might motivate them?
What motivates people, and it's certainly worked very well, is that
there's going to be all these local issues where Indians want to do things
that the American continent don't even care about. It's very motivational
when someone in India finds a solution to a local problem and makes his
own version of Linux that works for India. I don't think that anything I
say will make a difference.