Linux could be ready for the low-end handset market. That's according to Peder Ulander, vice president of marketing for MontaVista Software, who said that we could soon see a move away from the use of Linux on high-end handsets.

Ulander said that handset makers are initially using Linux on their high-end phones because the first implementations of Linux on phones will be expensive. "Microsoft does a great job of arguing why the cost of Linux is higher and it is on the first device," he said.

In order to minimise the risk and get a return on the investment required for the initial development work required for a Linux-based operating system, handset makers are using Linux just on more expensive, high-end phones, he said. For example, Motorola uses MontaVista's Linux-based operating system on its Rokr phone, he said.

But after the initial development work has been done, subsequent implementations of Linux on phones should be less expensive to execute, he said. Ultimately, he expects phone makers to use Linux for mass market phones.