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Intel To Challenge Android With Moblin For Mobile Devices 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-in-this-corner dept.
darien writes "Intel has officially entered the smartphone fight, giving a bullish demonstration at IDF of an Atom-based phone running the latest incarnation of its mobile Linux-based OS, dubbed Moblin for MIDs (mobile internet devices) v2.1. The system isn't aimed at current Atom CPUs, though — they're too power-hungry. 'One of the drivers of this initiative, and a key reason for the acquisition of Wind River, will be Intel's own app store, catering to ultra mobile devices based on the Atom chipset. The Intel Atom Developer Program will make use of Wind River's VxWorks product, which the company believes will help it achieve that developer grail of the 'write once and run on all devices' experience."
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Intel To Challenge Android With Moblin For Mobile Devices

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  • Re:Wait... how? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:11AM (#29514363) Journal
    The other weird aspect of TFS, beyond your correct points, is that Moblin is Linux based(and a substantially more "orthodox" Linux than android) and was something Intel was doing well before they ate Wind River and acquired VxWorks.

    Obviously, I'm sure that subsequent VxWorks releases will be carefully tuned to do their best VxWorking on Atom boards; but the connection between that and Moblin, or Intel's new enthusiasm for app stores, seems quite limited.
  • Re:Jeez (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:17AM (#29514407)
    Considering that the next computing revolution is happening in the mobile market, I'm actually surprised there aren't MORE mobile OSs. I mean, who desn't want to be the next Microsoft???
  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:53AM (#29514803) Journal

    Right now there are: IPhone OS which is very closed. Windows mobile also very closed and not sexy. Android which is open and has lots of backing by lot's of different builders. Many other smaller options. Moblin look very open too but.. when it will show up, Android should already available from every cellular providers.

    You list Apple, and everyone smaller than them. What about Blackberry? Nokia? All the billions of Java phones out there?

    I don't disagree with you, but note a difference with the 80s computing analogy is that aside from the ones trying to push an operating system, there are also loads of less expensive (and yes, not as good, but you get what you pay for, and still fulfil most people's needs), that make up the vast majority of the market.

    Of course, there were a lot of computer makes around in the 80s, but the other difference is that these phones today do support a common standard, mainly thanks to Java, and also due to functionality being offered on websites). It's not perfect, but it's way better than the bad old days of computing where you needed a different version for every make and model on the market. Now a single application runs on pretty much any phone.

    Except then along comes the Iphone, and changes that by specificially not allowing Java. So now we have to return to the days where special "For Your Iphone" applications are needed, to do what the rest of us were doing for years before. It's great marketing for Apple though, because people see these "Posted using XXX for Iphone" everywhere - all the people using ordinary phones are using open standards (either a Java app, or via the website itself), and thus don't get the free advertising spam for that make of phone.

    What is funny in that mobile war is the position of Apple. Pretty much like when the first Mac came by at the begining of the 80s. They have a great product. But they are too closed. So it's going to be everybody against them. They can't win. Dell, HTC, Lenovo, Motorola, Philips, Samsung, Sony Ericson (on the open side this time) , and many others already have android phones.

    I predict that soon when you'll want to build a mobile application, it will have to run on Android first.

    I agree, and I hope so. I loved the Amiga back in the day, but looking back, it seems obvious that from a hardware point of view, the PC would be the winner, ever since it became a standard for business use in the early 80s. It was just a case of what OS it ran.

    One problem however is that there is yet to be an open standard for mobile hardware. In some sense, there doesn't need to be, if systems like Java or Android are used. But I still have a worry Apple may be able to gain a monopoly on the hardware, because there's no open standard for potential new companies to use for mobile hardware.

    The PC won because when every company said "Hey, let's get into making computers", most of them took the easy option and built PCs. With phones, they're left struggling to come up with their own hardware, or more likely, not bother at all.

  • Re:Jeez (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @10:24AM (#29515187)

    erm.. Microsoft. They're the only ones with a second-rate attitude to mobile devices, although I heard than WinMo 7 will come out (eventually) and have support for social networking!

    I use the mobile device marketplace as a way to explain to managers that Linux is the next big thing - they already know mobile is the big marketplace (gartner et al told them so) but they don't realise that Intel with Moblin, Nokia with Maemo, Palm with webOS, and Google with Android are all Linux OSs.

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WebCowboy (196209) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:10AM (#29525849)

    Think about Windows Mobile (especially pre-2003): the interface carry-overs from Windows proper are the chief reason it's an also-ran on PDAs and phones,

    The differences between Android and conventional Linux-based OSes run quite a bit deeper than the UI--Android is a very different architecture altogether. It's like saying MacOS X is BSD UNIX--IT ISN'T. It shares a lot of common elements, it is somewhat compatible but architecturally it is VASTLY DIFFERENT, far more than skin-deep-different. Therefore, one could say that those chief reasons for WinMo's failures could be addressed with a far more "conventional" Linux-based OS distribution. That is where Moblin comes in--it is an application framework that sits far higher up the stack. Whereas Android starts going its own way almost right above the kernel, Moblin sits atop an essentially complete core installation of Fedora, and in fact is technically "distribution agnostic" and can alternatively be installed atop Ubuntu as well. As Moblin is under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation the logical end goal would be to make Moblin an application framework upon the base install of ANY LSB-compliant OS.

    And, I suggest you troll YouTube for demonstrations of Moblin--you'll quickly see it is very much NOT a "carry-over" of desktop Linux from a user perspective.

    If course, Intel was the founding institution for Moblin, and its heritage is one of being optimised for the Intel Atom/x86 architecture, so Intel is pushing for Moblin smartphones because it is a software platform ready today for its hardware being released shortly..but here is an interesting situation: The Linux foundation is not beholden to Intel, Moblin is Free software and nothing impedes it from being built or optimised for another platform..notably ARM based competing platforms. For example, the Clutter 3D UI framework builds on many ARM based devices (I've seen it working nicely on the BeagleBoard), as to pretty close to all the essential parts of Moblin Core. Moblin 2.x could be ported to ARM with mostly "integration work" (figuring out compiler options, "glue logic" programming and scripts and so on).

    There's no real point to extending the traditional Linux desktop to a phone for the same reason: there's nothing worthwhile to carry over.

    I BEG TO DIFFER! The "Linux desktop" is more than the desktop environment/user interface, and as has been demonstrated there is quite a lot of the stack that is worthwhile to retain, even if it doesn't "make sense" in Mobile applications. Why do I say this? Because I think far too many people are demonstrating a very short-sighted view that mobile devices must always be mobile! For some reason, nobody thinks to look at how notebook/laptop PCs are used by so many people--they are carried about much of the time, but as often as not (maybe most of the time in fact) they sit on a desk connected to a full sized keyboard, mouse and monitor! This is especially the case with corporate PCs, where in many setups almost all users are issued notebooks.

    If nobody gives it a second thought about something that weighs a couple kg and has occupies a footprint larger than an A4 sheet of paper being used in "two modes" then why should it be different for a pocket-sized computer? If these tiny devices are so powerful why artificially constrain the software on them to something geared towards mobile use? What is keeping us from putting USB host and HDMI ports on these devices (or on a dock the device sits in) such that we can use them on larger screens with full keyboards and mice? THAT is the problem with Android! It is designed for SMALL devices and needs some HEAVY modification to work outside those severe constraints. Critics already doubt Android's capability on netbook sized applications, much less when used in desktop or living-room-console situations! Hell, only in the most very recent release was there official coverage for something as basic as supporting DisplayMetrics t

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