Place your bets while there’s still time — with IDF around the corner, it’s almost a lock that we’ll see Moblin pre-installed on a netbook next week. But the jury is still out on who might offer it. OStatic makes a great case for Acer, since the company has already demonstrated early Moblin builds on its hardware. But ASUS, MSI and others are in the running, too. And you can’t count out Dell, who was one of the first to sell netbooks with Ubuntu.
Even money says that any netbook running this Linux flavor will show off Moblin v2. Not long ago, Steve Paine took this version for a ride and felt it to be “very slick and trouble-free.” Ideally, that’s what we all want in a device at its core, so it sounds promising. But the age old question has to be asked — are consumers ready to break away from the Windows paradigm? They haven’t yet, at least not in massive quantities, but for people who want a rock-solid netbook for basic tasks, this just might work.
That’s not to say that Moblin — or any Linux distro, for that matter — is “dumbed down” by any means. Linux systems are every bit as capable, if not more so, than Windows devices in many respects. I just worry about the perceived and real learning curve of a new operating system when expectations largely revolve around netbooks being smaller traditional notebooks. Regardless, I think OStatic is right on the money and that Acer outs the first Mobile v2 netbook next week. That approach makes much more sense to me than the Android netbook plans that Acer has, er had… or maybe still has. I can’t keep track.
Can’t wait for Moblin v2 on your netbook? You don’t have to. Just hit up the Moblin project and grab yourself a live image!