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Linux plugless and playless without Intel-Aid

Lack of USB and 1394 support leaves it lagging behind MS

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A serious lack of support of IO for the Linux OS is set to hamper its onward thrust in the commercial market, it has emerged. Linux lacks support for both USB and the 1394 Firewire interface, deficiencies which will seriously hamper its adoption by the corporate marketplace. And a remedy for those deficiencies is not likely to arrive soon, despite Intel's support for the OS. That will leave Microsoft with a clear lead in the market. But Intel will come to the aid of the quirky OS, which has a toy penguin as its emblem, not only with hardware support but with a slick compiler. A source from HP told The Register: "Where Linux has to get its act together is in non-legacy IO, USB and 1394. Why, it is even behind NT in this respect. Intel can help here but the whole Linux community needs to come up with a PnP driver model on a par with WDM." He said that if the community was "really devious", it could come up with a clean room implementation of WDM. "That's another thing Intel could help with," he said. But an Intel compiler, according to the same source, "kicks everyone else's butt". He said that comes with the VTUNE SDK, and is the only compiler to really take advantage of the P6/PII CMOV opcodes. "Intel could do a commercial Linux version for a few dollars or just give it away and encourage all the Linux folk to build apps which don't run on Pentium, AMD or Cyrix boxes," he added. An Intel representative commented: "We've put some money into Red Hat so that we can enterprisify the OS. We're trying to make it industrial strength." At the moment, he agreed, the OS was "dweeb strength". He said: "It's the old chestnut that we're agnostic about operating systems." At the present, the whole discussion over Linux has, however, every sign of being a religious war, with little agnosticism present. The Register has received every manner of communication from Linux devotees, some showing signs of religious fanaticism over what is, after all, only software. ®

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