IBM announces Bluetooth, Linux initiatives

IBM announces Bluetooth, Linux initiatives

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

JUNE 12'IBM Corp. today set out plans for Bluetooth wireless radio connectivity for its PCs and handheld computers. It also plans to make some of its Thinkpad notebook computers available soon with the OpenLinux 2.4 open-source operating system from Caldera Systems Inc. of Orem, Utah.

So far, Dell Computer Corp. is the only notebook maker to preinstall Linux (see story at

Announcing Bluetooth plans today with Motorola Inc. and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. at the Bluetooth Congress in Monaco, IBM's Personal Systems Group said it will sell a Bluetooth PC Card modem for notebooks and a Universal Serial Bus add-on connectivity device for larger systems. Embedded Bluetooth modules for PCs and wireless phones are not yet ready.

Bluetooth-equipped devices such as computers, keyboards, telephones and printers can spontaneously communicate with each other at the 2.5-GHz frequency over a limited range, forming a so-called personal area network.

Motorola said it will release a clip-on Bluetooth accessory for certain models of phones this year. The company claimed an automotive add-on kit available now can hand off a phone call from a headphone inside a car to a phone outside. Motorola also said the product can synchronize with other navigational and multimedia systems that have Bluetooth chips.

Motorola subsidiary Digianswer A/S makes the Bluetooth PC Stack software that incorporates the Bluetooth protocol and network management settings. The software runs under Microsoft Windows 9x, Windows CE, NT and 2000.

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