The people expected to improve eCos/M3 are programmers in the mobile industry. They are encouraged, but not obligated, to share their improvements or applications, Beskeen said.
"We don't expect many contributions from the handset manufacturers, but do expect them to share general improvements. We don't put requirements on users to make their applications open source," he said.
Red Hat's eCos has ties to the Linux operating system, the mother of open source, but isn't based on it. The software requires hardly any storage space, can function on limited processing power and is thus ideally suited for battery powered devices. The system is embedded, which means users can't load it onto their handset or PDA, but that the manufacturer includes it.
Red Hat, in based in Durham, North Carolina, can be reached at +1-919-547-0012, or online at http://www.redhat.com. 3G Lab in Cambridge, England, can be reached at +44-1223-478-900 or online at http://www.3glab.com/.