All go, go, go at Comdex

The second day of Comdex in Las Vegas and Linux creator Linus Torvalds has spoken publicly for the first time about the new, secretive company he is working for.

The company, Transmeta, he said, will give "full disclosure" January 19. "We are doing a smart CPU, which will be the first microprocessor using software to do a lot of stuff," he said.

The industry rumour about Transmeta is that it is working on a cheaper and easier to manufacture microprocessor that can run any operating system.

In other Comdex news, Compaq announced it has restructured its commercial desktop division into two parts, part of a giant effort to focus on low-cost Internet PCs and devices aimed at corporate customers.

The new division will develop the iPaq class of computers, as well as Internet appliances like wireless handheld computers. The other half of the commercial division will continue its focus on traditional PCs, said Jerry Meerkatz, vice president and general manager of Compaq's newly formed Internet Access division. The restructuring was announced internally at Compaq yesterday, Meerkatz said.

Also in the PC arena, Dell said it is actively considering entering the application service provider (ASP) space, either by making available a Dell-branded service from a third-party partner or by building its own data centre.

"The ISP/ASP space represents a shift where servers are consumed," said Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell. "It's an area we are actively looking at."

Such a service would also provide a foundation for delivering a number of new capabilities to Dell's customers, Dell said.

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