Linpus Hones Moblin-Based Linux Lite
Linpus Technologies on Tuesday released Linpus Linux Lite 1.2, a new version of its consumer Linux software based on Moblin version 2 that's been enhanced with improved social networking applications and power management capabilities.
The first version of the Moblin v2-based technology was released earlier this year. Linpus's Moblin v2 Enhanced Version bolsters the Moblin user interface for improved delivery of key online information.
For example, information from social networking sites such as Twitter, Flickr, MySpace and Last.fm all flows through one tab in Moblin. Linpus has redesigned the interface so that each social networking site has its own tab.
Linpus has also added a module that delivers the latest messages from webmail accounts, eliminating the need to check those accounts repeatedly.
Linpus is working with a number of OEMs and ODMs to deliver Linpus Linux Lite "to a range of customers in multiple industry segments," but Marketing Director Warren Coles declined to provide names or specifics.
26 Percent Faster Boot Time
Moblin v2 technology is the product of Moblin.org, an open source community originally launched by Intel and now hosted by the Linux Foundation. It supports the creation and distribution of Linux-based operating system products for platforms based on Intel's Atom processor.
Included among those platforms are netbooks, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), nettops, in-vehicle infotainment technology and embedded systems.
Moblin's Fast-boot and Clutter features are particularly exciting, said Rita Jing, Linpus' vice president of sales. "With Moblin technology, we have been able to take the browsing, multimedia and social networking experience to a new level, as well as improving general overall usability."
The new release features a boot time that's 26 percent speedier.
Version 1.2 also boasts integration of a power manager with support for auto-suspend, while a network manager offers support for 3G, WLAN, and LAN connectivity. A LiveUpdate function, meanwhile, delivers patches, upgrades and new applications.
Dual-boot enhancements make it easier to dual boot with Windows via Linpus' PIM Sync and Folder Sync applications, which are designed to facilitate the sharing of key information between the two systems.
PIM Sync, for example, copies email and calendar information from Outlook; Folder Sync allows users to copy important files, music and videos to Linpus Linux Lite.
'We're Going to See More Linux'
There's currently significant interest in Linux-based netbooks, with particularly compelling opportunities in markets outside the United States, 451 Group analyst Jay Lyman told LinuxInsider.
"The cool thing is to have a variety of Linux options on the desktop," Lyman said. "You might not find them at Best Buy, but that's often not how people buy computers anymore, and we're going to see more Linux in the market."
Linux "needs to distinguish itself," however, if vendors want to take advantage of the opportunities, he added.
In particular, one challenge for companies like Linpus is to take advantage of the advancements that Moblin provides, such as in wireless, power savings and overall stability, Lyman said.
Nevertheless, Apple's iPhone demonstrated that a vendor can "come into a totally new market and rise pretty quickly," he added.
"I think there's emulation and competition with the iPhone, and many of those competitors are looking to Linux -- it's brandable, cheaper and fast to develop with," he concluded. "There are lot of things working in favor of Linux and open source in netbooks."
With Moblin, meanwhile, "people are more willing to take Intel's Atom and do something interesting with it," Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst with the Enderle Group, told LinuxInsider.
"Intel will do lots of heavy lifting to make sure Moblin and the hardware work together, because they want people to view the Intel platform as the easiest platform to develop on," Enderle explained. "This is Intel's effort to roll against the ARM processor, which kind of dominates the mobile Internet device and smartphone space now."
The bottom line is that "it's all about faster time to market," said Enderle. "With Intel, the pitch they're making is, 'You'll get to market faster with a more compelling device.'"