Brandon White at Linux Devices reports that many of the improvements being made to the 2.6 kernel are benificial to embedded systems. From a glance, it looks like latency has been cut dramatically in the 2.6 kernel. This is definately good news to developers of realtime and near-realtime applications. There are many other improvements in the 2.6 kernel that allow it to operate on very lightweight hardware (MMU-less processors for example) to very high end systems (64GB addressable RAM on a 32 bit architecture).
The entire article is definately worth reading even if you’re not into embedded systems. The 2.6 kernel will be good for all machines, big and small.