The concept of Mobile Internet Devices, MIDs, is simple on the surface. They have been touted as devices with a primary focus on the Internet. They are to give the MID owner a simple and cheap method to get web work done, working with email and browsing the Internet. This does not require a sophisticated computing environment which is why Linux was the first operating system discussed for MIDs. Not that Linux is not sophisticated but the first MIDs to appear had stripped down shells that hid the sophistication from the end user.
If the sole purpose of the MID is to do the web work then Windows CE, the kernel behind the Windows Mobile operating system, could easily handle the task. Windows CE has some advantages over the standard approach as it can be embedded into the hardware and provide true instant-on capability. Windows CE devices can easily provide all day battery life too. The user experience on a MID is very important and for Windows CE to be a good MID platform it would need a web-focused user interface that made that focus the primary function of the device.
One company is providing such a shell for Windows CE 6.0 embedded and that is Quarta Mobile. Quarta Mobile is talking up their upcoming MID-shell which will consist of everything needed to produce a freely open shell.
All system components, device drivers, operating system shell, andadditional applications (excluding those contained in the Windows©Embedded CE Platform Builder) are accessible in the form of source codewith licenses permitting their free usage, modification anddistribution of derivative versions.
Quarta Mobile is initially concentrating on two popular netbooks for the MID-shell, the Acer Aspire One and the Lenovo S9. They promise a download shell that is coming soon for these two netbooks or "MIDs" as they reference them.
(via Mike Hall)