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Wind River Transfers FreeBSD to Open Source Group

  • January 15, 2002
  • By Earthweb Staff
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Alameda, Calif., January 14, 2002 -- Wind River Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:WIND) today announced a definitive agreement to transfer its FreeBSD operations to FreeBSD Mall, Inc. FreeBSD is an advanced open source UNIX operating system, derived from BSD UNIX and developed at the University of California. Well known for its performance and reliability, FreeBSD technology is widely used as a server operating system by many large Internet sites including Yahoo!, Hotmail, Sony Japan, Apache, Pair Networks, and Whistle Communications. Like Linux, the source code for FreeBSD is freely available.

Wind River assumed stewardship for the FreeBSD open source project in May 2001 when it acquired assets of Berkeley Software Design, Inc. (BSDi), the former sponsor of FreeBSD. In addition to the FreeBSD sponsorship, Wind River acquired the proprietary BSD UNIX-based OS (BSD/OS). Wind River's interest in the BSDi assets continues to focus on BSD/OS. Divesting the FreeBSD business further sharpens that focus and provides continuity and increased support for FreeBSD.

FreeBSD Mall Inc. is led by its founder, Bob Bruce. Bruce's involvement with FreeBSD dates back to 1993 when his former company, Walnut Creek CDROM, was the first and primary distributor of FreeBSD.

"The FreeBSD community will be well served by this transaction," said Larry Macfarlane, senior director of Wind River's Application Platforms product division. "When we decided to divest the FreeBSD business, we looked for a successor organization that could meet high standards of customer service and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the FreeBSD community. After carefully evaluating many interested organizations, we decided that the best way to ensure the continuity and vitality of FreeBSD was to return it to its roots."

Bob Bruce enthusiastically welcomes FreeBSD back home, and commented, "As we go forward, we will be able to build on strong relationships and friendships. We have all worked together before. FreeBSD has a promising future, and I am committed to helping it reach its full potential."

Jordan Hubbard, co-founder of the open source FreeBSD Project also endorses the change. "I'm happy to see that the FreeBSD Mall will be continuing without interruption" said Hubbard. "Through this transfer, FreeBSD will be back under the direction of the same people who started and know the FreeBSD CD product line perhaps better than anyone." Jordan Hubbard is an engineering manager at Apple, where he helps develop the highly acclaimed Mac OS X, and works on the open source Darwin Project. Both Mac OS X and Darwin are based on FreeBSD.

FreeBSD Mall plans to aggressively promote and market FreeBSD. In addition to providing the standard FreeBSD distribution on CDROM, they will continue to offer a subscription service, snapshots of the current development branch, and published hardcopy editions of the FreeBSD Handbook. They will also offer several levels of professional support and services for FreeBSD. FreeBSD Mall has placed FreeBSD products in many mainstream retail stores, including Best Buy, CompUSA, Borders Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. In the near future, they plan to expand their retail presence, especially in Europe and Asia.

Current support obligations and software subscriptions at Wind River will be transferred to FreeBSD Mall in this transaction. All current Wind River employees working with FreeBSD will be employed by FreeBSD Mall.

Wind River will continue to develop and support BSD/OS, a professionally engineered and supported BSD operating system widely used in embedded systems. A major upgrade of BSD/OS that will focus on meeting the needs of networked embedded devices is scheduled for release later this year. Wind River will also continue to support the BSD open source community, and plans to cooperate with the FreeBSD Mall and other BSD organizations to help promote wide adoption of BSD technology.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of January.






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