Manufacturers of embedded system devices can add the benefits of network booting to their products more seamlessly thanks to General Software/Argon Technology agreement.

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, April 21, 2003 General Software, Inc. and Argon Technology have reached an agreement that makes Argon’s network booting software available to embedded system manufacturers as an option with General’s Embedded BIOS® 2000. Network booting enables thin clients, network appliances, factory floor equipment, data acquisition tools, and other embedded devices to boot over a LAN, using files located on a network server. Network booting can dramatically reduce the build cost of embedded systems by reducing the need for high-cost components like local hard drives or flash memory. At the same time, it will add value for end-users by simplifying upgrades, improving security and lowering admin costs.

Under the terms of the new marketing alliance, Argon has developed versions of their Managed PC Boot Agent (MBA) firmware that is completely compatible with General Software’s Embedded BIOS 2000 firmware. General’s customers make embedded, intelligent devices used in telecommunications, data communications, industrial controls, and consumer electronics.

“Network booting has always been of interest to embedded device suppliers,” says Conrad Lawes, Argon’s Technical Services Manager. “However there are sometimes conflicts between the network booting software and the system BIOS. Now they can purchase both products from a single supplier, and know that the combination will work seamlessly.”

As part of the agreement, Argon will:

• Work directly with General customers to add network-booting support to their BIOS.

• Conduct extensive testing on all General’s current and future BIOS versions to ensure compatibility.

• Provide engineering services to General’s “BIOS Customization” customers, as well as those wanting other software applications developed for their products.

With MBA, embedded devices can be remotely managed using common network boot protocols like PXE (Preboot Execution Environment), RPL, NetWare or traditional TCP/IP (DHCP, BOOTP).

“We are constantly looking for additional ways to provide our customers with the highest value embedded firmware available,” explained Matthew J. Schiltz, General Software president and CEO. “Argon is a world leading supplier of network booting technology, and they provide support for a broad range of LAN controllers. The combination of Argon and General Software together is another terrific benefit to our embedded customers.”

Besides giving users of Embedded Devices access to Pre-Boot benefits, network booting enhances security and reliability. Centralization also simplifies data recovery, back up, and management. Problems of disk and PC failure are replaced with the simplicity of a “plug and boot” solution. A full description of the benefits manufacturers and users gain is available at

About Argon Technology’s Managed PC Boot Agent

Managed PC Boot Agent firmware is available to developers directly from Argon Technology for adding to the Embedded BIOS 2000 product offering. It’s compatible with most Windows, DOS and UNIX operating systems, as well as popular client management software and boot protocols. More information on Managed PC Boot Agent, along with details of the benefits of network booting, is available at

About Argon Technology Corporation

Argon Technology is a world leader in network booting solutions. The company’s Boot ROM technology supports all leading manufactures of networking ASIC’s and add in cards, as well as many popular desktop management applications. For more details, visit

About Embedded BIOS 2000

Embedded BIOS 2000 delivers a comprehensive BIOS development environment for x86 embedded systems. The modular architecture of the Embedded BIOS Adaptation Kit allows an OEM to support multiple, on-going BIOS adaptations while leveraging existing libraries of CPU, chipset, and board-specific features.

Embedded BIOS addresses the entire lifecycle of embedded products, from board bring-up, configuration prototyping, testing with system diagnostics, and product manufacturing to in-field diagnostics and software reload. Embedded BIOS supports industry-standard operating systems that run on PC-compatible hardware, including the full spectrum of Windows, Linux, and real-time operating systems.

About General Software, Inc.

General Software, a Microsoft Windows Embedded Partner Program Gold-level member, provides superior enabling firmware and world-class support for OEM manufacturers of telecommunications, data communications, consumer electronics, dedicated servers, and other specialized computing devices. General Software’s well-architected and reliable firmware products reduce risk, speed development, and address embedded OEM product lifecycle needs. For more information about General Software and its embedded firmware, visit, e-mail, or contact Davíd Tobar at 800-850-5755 or 425-576-8300.