Hazy mobile plans notwithstanding, the chip maker has signed up for the MeeGO mobile operating system project. It will be lending its engineering expertise to the open source Linux-based OS project, which already includes the likes of Intel, Nokia and the Linux Foundation as its backers.
“MeeGo represents an exciting, open-source mobile operating system we expect to be adopted by mobile and embedded device makers over time,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president, software development, AMD. “We are glad to provide engineering resources to joint industry efforts like MeeGo and expect that this operating system will help drive our embedded plans and create expanded market opportunities for our forthcoming Accelerated Processing Units.”
At the very beginning of the netbook era, some predicted testing times for team Wintel as they viewed the new form factor as a great opportunity for rivals to lessen the gulf. But both Microsoft and Intel emerged unscathed from the much hyped battle. However, with their rivals drawing first blood in the battle for tablet supremacy, the powerful alliance now faces a sterner test.
While the diminutive Atom has been received quite well in the netbook market, Intel knows that a few changes are needed as far as tablets are concerned. To this end, it is readying its next-generation Oak Trail platform. According to Digitimes' sources within the PC industry, vendors are unenthusiastic about Intel Atom tablets and only plan to launch Atom- and Windows-based models in small volumes so as to appease the two giants.
The Oak Trail system-on-chip (SoC) is designed to handle Full HD video while consuming 50% less power than the Atom. Optimized for tablets, netbooks and other small form factors, the SoC will support a number of operating systems including Windows, MeeGo and Android.
Many viewed the advent of netbooks as a golden opportunity for Linux to capture the popular imagination. But netbook vendors and users never really warmed up to Linux. It might have failed to grab one massive opportunity, but it has a chance at redemption in the booming market for mobile internet-enabled devices.
British chip designer ARM and five system-on-chip (SoC) vendors – IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments - have formed a not-for-profit company called Linaro to provide “new resources and industry alignment for open source software developers using Linux on the world’s most sophisticated semiconductor System-on-Chips (SoCs).”
Linaro will be rolling out new releases of optimized tools, kernel and middleware software every six months, making Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS compatible with semiconductor offerings from different vendors. This should, in turn, help reduce time-to-market for ARM- and Linux-based devices, including smart phones, tablets, digital televisions, automotive entertainment and enterprise equipment.
"ARM and our partners have a long history of working with, and supporting, open source software development for complex SoCs based on the ARM architecture," said Warren East, ARM CEO. "As a founding member of Linaro, we are working together with the broader open source community to accelerate innovation for the next generation of computing, focusing on delivering a rich connected experience across the diversity of devices in our daily lives."
The first buile of the Intel/Nokia joint OS venture known as MeeGo is now available for download. The operating system will run on almost any Atom-based netbook as well as the Nokia N900, which currently runs Maemo. There is also support for the Moorsetown mobile Atom chips, but you probably don’t have one of those yet. You can download the netbook version right now and run it via a USB drive.
MeeGo promises to support the Qt development framework, which is a cross-platform development interface that makes it much easier for developers to port their work to other platforms. It’s still unclear if combining the lackluster reception of Intel Moblin and Nokia Maemo will result in a good product. This version isn’t going to settle anything either. It doesn’t have any of the UI elements you’d expect. In fact, it’s mostly just a command line.
MeeGo has potential due to its largely standardized Linux build. This is much the same in the case of Maemo, but MeeGo has the backing of tech giant Intel. We’re very interested to see where they take this platform. A 1.0 release of MeeGo is expected around May. So, anyone planning to run this preview build out of curiosity?