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Summary:

Other than the first Linux-powered netbooks, the market for small laptops is dominated by “WinTel”, just as it is for larger laptops — Intel chips running Windows. But then Intel decided to get involved deeper at the software level and the Moblin project. Moblin is a […]

moblin-logo

Other than the first Linux-powered netbooks, the market for small laptops is dominated by “WinTel”, just as it is for larger laptops — Intel chips running Windows. But then Intel decided to get involved deeper at the software level and the Moblin project. Moblin is a mobile Linux distro targeted specifically for Intel Atom netbooks and is actually fun and refreshing to use in my experience. So what was once Windows on an Intel platform is now an Intel-backed version of Linux. It doesn’t stop there, however. In September we heard about the Moblin Garage, which sounded like an app store for netbooks running Moblin. And today, Intel is releasing the beta of its beta version of the Intel Atom Developer Program Software Development Kit.

Yes, the SDK is for development on Windows as well as Moblin, but I think that’s a necessary evil — Intel has to play both sides of the fence in case Moblin doesn’t gain any market traction. I find it interesting though that the SDK download for Moblin is above the Windows download — subtle, but interesting. And if you think this isn’t for an app store model, maybe some FAQs from the Intel Atom Developer site will convince you:

What is the business model? How do I make money?

  • Developers will set the price for their applications and will receive up to 70% of the revenue from every sale from every store. Infrastructure operational expenses and partner revenue will be covered from the remaining portion.
  • Developers can choose to use some of their revenue in exchange for things like promotion.
  • Developers can also build and sell application components the Developer Store in exchange for a % share of revenue from every application sold which uses their component.

Sounds like an app store to me and with those types of incentives, Intel is hoping to pull some developers into the Moblin world and offer a better netbook experience. Have a look at my hands-on video with Moblin 2.1 to see the simple but effective interface with just a few apps.

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  1. Given the recent news of how manufacturers are turning on the MIDs given their terrible sales figures and how linux has surprisingly underperformed (sales wise) on netbooks I think it is going to take a lot more than a subtle download placement for this to break through. (This is to say nothing of Chrome or Android running on this stuff.) Devs beware.

  2. Netbook Downloads Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    Once day linux would be the dominating system for netbooks in my personal opinion. Just like Symbian is for Smartphones.

    Devs should come up with interesting apps so that everyone is benefited.

    1. One day, there will be no netbooks. And I believe this day will come sooner than linux domination.

  3. Nice video Kevin , you should really check out the New(karmic) Ubuntu-Moblin-Remix which gives you all the nice Ubuntu software,kernel and drivers with this Moblin GUI ontop.If you like Fedora they have also brought out a fedora-moblin-desktop,now this is geting really interesting.Mabey a nice custom netbook kernel from Adam McDaniel ( http://www.array.org/ubuntu ) who makes the Jolicloud kernels would be a better choice for Ubuntu-Moblin-Remix ;)
    I don’t see any Karmic kernels yet but i guess i could get on via #jolicloud on freenode :P

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