I really, really want to see what Google has planned for us with its Chrome operating system. Intel and the Linux Foundation aren't waiting around to see what they'll do. Today, September 23rd, they and their partners, such as Dell and Canonical, gave us a peek at Moblin 2.1.
Moblin 2.1 stands midway between a desktop operating system and a mobile device OS. All that really happened today is that Intel and friends gave us a look at Moblin 2.1 running on mobile devices.
From that, I can see a few highlights. First, as presented today, it appears that they intend for it to contend more with Apple's iPod Touch, Microsoft's Zune HD, and the Google Android-powered Archos 5, than Windows 7 or the desktop Linuxes like Fedora and openSUSE.
It's also very multimedia friendly. Out of the box, Moblin-powered devices will be able to show videos in the proprietary Flash and Silverlight formats.
You're not going to be able to get your hands on one of these devices anytime soon, though. While Dell will be releasing the Dell Mini 10v with Moblin on September 24th, this version is meant for developers not end-users. Dell's Mini 10v is currently available with Ubuntu or Windows XP SP3. The Moblin-equipped 10v will go for $299.
This netbook is going to be running 'Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition' and it's optimized for the Intel Atom processor. According to the companies, Canonical has worked closely with Dell and Intel to create the Ubuntu Moblin Remix which extends and productizes core Moblin OS features as well as the user interface. The operating system image will also be made available by Dell for download.
In a statement, Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical said, "Moblin keeps on getting more exciting as a project with new applications and improved user experiences. It's great to be delivering this release with Dell to developers wanting to participate in Moblin. Intel and the Moblin community are bringing tremendous resource and investment into the Linux ecosystem and this product acts as a bridge to Moblin for developers."
OK, they've got my interest. I plan on downloading the new Moblin when it becomes available in the next few days. What about you? Interested?
This story, "Sneak Preview: A Taste of Moblin 2.1" was originally published by Computerworld.