Intel shows new version of Moblin; targets mobile devices

At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel showed off a new version of Moblin, a Linux operating system designed for mobile gadgets. Initially targeted at netbooks, Intel has now hinted that it will extend the system’s reach to mobile phones.

Intel started the Moblin initiative last year in a bid to maximize the potential of netbooks and other devices that use the company’s Atom processor. But this is the first time that it has shown how the operating system, which is built on a Linux core, will appear to users.

Note – Moblin and GENIVI:

Moblin is an open source project focused on developing software for new categories of devices such as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and NetBooks. In partnership with GENIVI, Moblin will act as an independent distribution mechanism for the first GENIVI open source reference implementations. The combination of the Moblin and GENIVI code will provide a automotive infotainment reference implementation that takes the best from both the consumer and automotive worlds.

Although Intel did not explicitly say it was planning a smartphone version of Moblin, the company showed a screenshot of the Moblin user interface with phonelike functionality such as notification for missed calls.

Moblin’s user interface is reminiscent of the recently launched Android phone from Motorola, the Cliq. Moblin brings together updates from social networking sites, the browser, news, calendar and phone call updates into a single screen called Myzone.

So far, Intel doesn’t have a processor for smartphones. But the company has ambitions to get into that fast-growing market. Earlier this year, Intel said it is working with LG to create a new line of smartphone-like internet devices based on the Moorestown platform and the Moblin operating system. The two companies plan to release the device next year.

Moblin is designed for multitasking, says Intel. So if a call comes up during web browsing, the interface allows users to switch easily to another application, such as the camera or a map program.

The latest demo is the first sign that Moblin could become a rival to Android and even the iPhone. But with no devices in the market yet that use the operating system, Moblin remains a dream for Intel.

See video of Intel’s demo of Moblin here.

Courtesy: Wired, GENIVI.

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