Living in the Age of Linux

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Here's an interesting device:

The Orange Liveradio gives you access to 4000+ worldwide internet stations and in addition to a wide range of podcasts and audio books. The great thing about Orange Liveradio is that no PC is required when you are listening to your internet radio stations. All you need is a Wi-Fi router and broadband internet access.

The software technology behind such a device is pretty trivial: you just need a media player and an operating system. Now, there's no information on the LiveRadio site about what the latter might be, but there's a pretty good chance it's some flavour of Linux. Why? Because you're looking at something that costs nothing and that can be customised as you wish – perfect for such devices that are sold at sub-£100 prices.

The point is that even if this particular system doesn't use Linux, hundreds of others will. We are entering an age where the software costs of such devices are effectively zero. This is likely to lead to a huge blossoming of this market, just as the free LAMP stack led to the vast Web 2.0 sector we see today. Now is a great time to be an entrepreneur in the consumer electronics market.