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4/16/2007
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Transmedia To Make Linux On Intel Ultra-Mobile PCs

The devices will run Glide, an online productivity platform for word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, photo editing, calendars, and contacts.

On Wednesday, Transmedia plans to announce that its Glide productivity suite and media sharing environment for desktop and mobile devices is available for Linux users. In conjunction with that announcement, Transmedia will make available a Linux version of Glide that's optimized for Intel ultra-mobile PCs at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China.

Intel first disclosed plans to offer Transmedia's software to its manufacturing partners last October at the DigitalLife Conference in New York. Wednesday's planned announcement represents the realization of that deal.

"Glide is taking an innovative approach in offering web based consumer services for anytime, anywhere access," said Pankaj Kedia, director of Ultra Mobility Group Ecosystem Marketing at Intel, in a statement. "This service on Intel based UMPCs and MIDs delivers on-the-go usage models around communication, entertainment and information."

The deal brings "seamless interoperability" to computers and mobile devices irrespective of operating system, said Transmedia CEO Donald Leka.

Glide offers online productivity applications like word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, photo editing, calendars, and contacts, synchronized across the user's PCs and portable devices through Glide's servers.

For several years, Intel has been working quietly, so as not to antagonize Microsoft, to make it easier for its manufacturing partners to sell Linux PCs in China and India. Offering the Glide application suite, which presents an alternative to Windows software on PCs, UMPCs, and on phones, Intel treads dangerously close to Microsoft's toes.

This isn't the first divergence of interest between Intel and Microsoft, nor will it be the last. But the fact that Linux is getting a software suite that looks pretty much the same across operating systems begs further comparison between Linux and Windows in terms of price. And that's a tough battle for Microsoft to win.

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