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Software // Operating Systems
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9/23/2009
04:27 PM
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Intel Shows Off Moblin 2.1

The chipmaker added phone and social networking functionality to its Linux-based operating system, paving its way into smartphones.

Intel is looking to expand its reach into mobile devices, and it showed off features of the next version of its Moblin operating system that may find its way into cell phones and smartphones.

During the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, the chipmaker demonstrated the 2.1 version of its Linux-based OS. The company initially targeted the OS at its netbook lineup, but the latest version features phone functionality. Moblin 2.1 also has strong integration with calendars, social networking, and news updates, and it was reminiscent of what Motorola is trying to do with its MotoBlur service for the Android-powered Cliq.

Intel showed off Moblin 2.1 on a mobile Internet device, but it likely would not be difficult to port to full-fledged smartphones. Intel recently partnered with Nokia to produce unspecified mobile Internet-connected devices that would be based on Linux, but it is unclear how big a role Moblin will play in these gadgets because Nokia is pushing its Linux-based Maemo platform as well.

The chipmaker also discussed the Moorestown platform that will be the follow-up to its successful Atom lineup. Moorestown is scheduled to ship next year, and it integrates an Atom processor, graphics, memory controller, and video encoders onto a single chip. Intel also indicated it wants to beef up its software to make it easier for developers to create applications for its platforms.

"We're flushing out the software side," said Intel CEO Paul Otellini at the conference. "In these new spaces, in [consumer electronics] and in handhelds in particular, and to some extent in netbooks, the Intel side of the world is lacking the viral apps development that you see, say, on the iPhone."


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