Matsushita Electric, Sony, Hitachi, NEC, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba on Tuesday announced the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum, a consortium designed to adapt and advance the operating system for use in consumer electronics.

Linux is widely used in large computers such as servers, but the eight companies wish to extend the operating system to other devices. While some companies, including MontaVista, have already created their own consumer electronics-oriented versions of Linux, the CELF wishes to spread out development work and take a more collaborative approach.

You can read more about CELF announcement here on CNet News. In a somewhat related note, this morning USA Today posted an interview with Bill Gates where he stated that Linux is no different that OS/2 was back in the day, a current competitor, nothing else.