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Intel Operating Systems Software Linux

Linux Foundation To Host Intel's Moblin Project 30

gustavopuy writes with news that Intel will be transferring control of Moblin, its Linux-based OS for mobile devices, to the Linux Foundation. Quoting Ars Technica: "We spoke with Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, who told us that the Linux Foundation offers a vendor-neutral setting for advancing the Moblin project. He believes that such an environment will help stimulate third-party involvement in the process of building the platform and could also encourage broader adoption. ... Zemlin explained that the Linux Foundation's stewardship of the project will empower third-party contributors to expand the platform beyond its Intel-specific roots. He assures me that Intel sees value in making Moblin open to everyone — including companies that are leveraging Linux on competing processors, such as those based on the ARM architecture."
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Linux Foundation To Host Intel's Moblin Project

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  • Now if we just had a mobile device that ran the software!
    I've been waiting to upgrade my phone for several years now. I keep waiting for something that is really open. And with python. Has to have python.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @10:53AM (#27465439) Journal
    I was pleased, back when intel announced the project; but very much puzzled. I thought that intel was, on the whole, an enormous beneficiary of Windows' dominance. Since Windows is pretty much stuck on x86(with some minor activity on IA-64), as long as "computer" = "runs windows" for most of the population, then "computer" = "x86". And, in x86, intel is pretty comfortable indeed. VIA is of minimal consequence and AMD, while fighting gamely, doesn't seem to be much of a threat these days.

    So, that being the case, why would intel push a Linux project? Did MS piss them off in some extremely serious way? Is intel simply so confident in the strength of their architecture and manufacturing process that they don't think competition from ARM et al. will reduce their profits? Does intel think that the entire "wintel" segment, of more or less traditional desktops and laptops, will eventually be replaced by MIDs or smartphones, or something and they don't want to be left behind?

    This announcement furthers my puzzlement. Unless it is just a polite way of killing the project, which it might be I suppose, it substantially increases the likelihood that Moblin will be running on competitors widgets in the near future. Anybody have insight on why intel would be so sanguine about it?
    • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:03AM (#27465519) Journal

      Why? Maybe people don't want to be tied to the windows market in general?

      Lots of people are seeing the alternates begin to stretch beyond simple embedded devices and servers, so its understandable. We have HP, google, intel, everyone setting up their own non-windows stuff as they have been for years. I mean it's not like Moblin came out today.

      Intel is at its core, a processor maker. I'd suspect they are agnostic to windows from that perspective.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hitmark ( 640295 )

      intel intended it for use on MID's, basically a intel atom variant on the nokia internet tablet (or a very scaled down umpc/scaled up PDA, if you will).

      thing is that the MID's took longer then expected to come to market, and at the same time asus dropped the netbook bombshell, triggering a huge interest in atom for other uses, both mobile and stationary.

      and the few MID's thats gotten to market have been turned into UMPC's by enthusiasts hell bent on running windows (specifically XP) on anything X86 compatib

    • Windows may be the dominating x86 desktop platform, it is nowhere near the top in the mobile phone platform. I don't know the real statistics but I'm pretty certain they're bringing up the rear in that field, but Intel certainly would want a piece of that area if possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spectrokid ( 660550 )
      This is for MOBILE devices. We are not talking Vista here, we are talking Windows Mobile. Microsoft has a notorious history of pouring billions of Windows Tax dollars into other platforms and having very little to show for it. And when they do, they don't mind running around Intel either. The Windows Mobile on my HTC sure like shit isn't running x86. Intel needs a winner on the mobile phone market, and they can't count on automatic MS dominance there. And if you are talking ever cheaper netbooks, then
    • by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:54AM (#27465803) Homepage

      "Is intel simply so confident in the strength of their architecture and manufacturing process that they don't think competition from ARM et al. will reduce their profits?"

      Yes. I've been at a lunch "meeting" with a VP of Intel when I was in college and he basically told us that Intel is not really a chip designer or anything like that. Their strength is their ability to manufacture silicon products better and cheaper than anyone else. Whatever they can do to promote more use of silicon based products is a win for them. In other words, they're not tied to x86 or any one architecture. Given the current state of chip manufacturing I would have to agree that Intel is far ahead of everyone else.

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Sunday April 05, 2009 @01:40PM (#27466719) Homepage Journal

      This announcement furthers my puzzlement. Unless it is just a polite way of killing the project, which it might be I suppose, it substantially increases the likelihood that Moblin will be running on competitors widgets in the near future. Anybody have insight on why intel would be so sanguine about it?

      Intel is banking on being able to provide the preferred hardware solution. So far they have been correct. Only rarely has anyone outdone them in the price-performance-power(consumption) triangle. Core 2 Duo and Atom are both smoking hot, although as always only late-generation intel chipsets ever have much performance.

      I keep waiting for AMD to bring out something with competitive horsepower that's as amazing as the Geode LX was. CPU+Chipset's TDP is about 5 watts at the 500MHz mark. Until then, there's intel...

      • Take whatever CPU you want, add the north bridge power drain, then compare it to the Atom plus its gigantic CPU of a north bridge. I will not spoil the results for you. :)

        • You can't spoil the results for me, because I've already looked up such things. All first-gen atom notebooks have a dorito for a chipset. Even more hilarious is that the original desktop Athlon64+Chipset has better power consumption than a Core Duo T2600+Chipset at about the same clock rate. Yowza! Intel is going to have to figure out this chipset power consumption thing, and fast. The big problem is that only Intel and rarely SIS have ever managed to make a decent fucking chipset the first time around, you

          • SIS? I made some veeery bad experiences with them, and avoid them at all cost. Same as ALi, and nVidia (the nForce designers shoud be taken out an shot* ^^).

            So you say VIA chipsets are bad too?

            Then this only leaves the CPU manufacturers. Mostly intel.

            Hmm. Bad.

            * I'm talking about the debacle with their bus that made the hard disks create crackling it the sound card output, even for highly professional music cards, making it impossible to make any music on such boards. And I'm talking about the thing I hav

    • That makes them dependant on Microsoft's goodwill. Microsoft's past actions(Symantec, and others) was that partners can and should be sacrificed to prevent Microsoft from hurting. Obviously, Intel doesn't like the idea much.

      • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 05, 2009 @04:09PM (#27467843) Journal

        Does anyone know the release date and how long it took them to cook up? Because when i first heard about it the first thought I had was "Well there is Intel giving MSFT the bird for Vista". Because, and correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC Vista beta 1 would run Aero on the Intel 915 and 945 IGP, and then along comes beta 2 and they have changed the driver model enough that the 915 and 945 will never run Aero again. Considering the fact that the 915 and 945 were VERY big sellers for Intel and since they were mature I'm sure quite profitable, I assume they were pretty pissed at MSFT releasing an OS that wouldn't work on their biggest selling at the time chipset.

        Of course then we know what happens next. Intel has a royal shitfit because Aero pretty much won't run on just about any chipset they have at the time so while leaving the changes so the 915 and 945 can't run Aero they cook up that "Vista capable" bullshit. Which then pisses everyone ELSE off, from the OEMs that had spent good money switching away from the cheap Intel chipsets to the consumers who had been hit by ad after ad proclaiming "Vista is Aero!" only to find out that their new machine wouldn't run the only visible selling point of Vista. So when this Moblin came out I always thought it was Intel's way of saying "you know, we can always go around you if you keep pissing us off" but that was before the rise of Netbooks and MSFT having to add reprieve after reprieve to XP, which of course doesn't have Aero which allows Intel to use less powerful and cheaper chipsets.

        So it wouldn't surprise me if old Chipzilla got their point across and is now dumping this on the Linux foundation to die a slow death. After all, the way MSFT had hyped Vista you would have thought it was the second coming of Win95 instead of the uber bloated turkey that it turned out to be. Now Intel doesn't have to worry about the 800 pound MSFT gorilla because their multi billion dollar OS went down like a giant flaming bag o' poo and the Netbook and Netbox market keeps them from going super bloated on their next OS unless they want to hand the market to Linux on a silver platter. Personally I think MSFT is going to shoot themselves in the foot with that cheap ass "only 3 apps running" starter edition on Netbooks which will make everyone run away just like they did with Vista, but that is another story.

        The point is Intel knows that MSFT can't really bone them on their lucrative chipset market anymore, because super bloat don't work on the Netbook. So they don't really need Moblin to spook MSFT anymore. They just needed to show MSFT that they could whip off an OS for the big mobile market if they desired. So my guess is Moblin will die the slow death of non support. Damned shame, because from what I saw it was pretty nice and low resource to boot.

  • With a name like Moblin, I thought they'd have Nintendo host it.

    • I'm surprised you're the only one on the thread who remembers Moblins. I felled many a moblin with my arrows in the Zelda days of yore!

  • There are already several projects to ensure Linux software runs well on small devices. What would be best is if Gnome or KDE could scale easily to accommodate tiny resolutions, but if not, hopefully this project is just another desktop environment that could be chosen from the login screen? ^^

    My point is: standards. Don't let companies create proprietary Linux projects if and where possible.

    I would still really like to see a unified driver specification for all graphics cards... :P

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