Intel Hands over Moblin to Linux Foundation

Apr 03, 2009

Hardware maker Intel has handed over hosting of the Moblin open source platform to the Linux Foundation with a hoped for larger external participation.

Moblin stands for Mobile Linux, an open source project to develop Linux-based platforms optimized for such devices as netbooks, mobile phones and auto infotainment systems. Intel initiated the project two years ago and is now transferring responsibility to the Linux Foundation. The mobile platform certainly found a perfect match in Intel's processor technology, but had trouble being adopted by many projects and embedded providers, such as Montavista and the LiMo Foundation.

Rammohan Peddibhotla, Open Source Business Director at Intel, described the hosting transfer decision of the project to Linux Magazine Online: "Intel believes that a vendor neutral third-party host, such as the Linux Foundation, will prime Moblin to become the most advanced and open mobile Linux platform. Intel believes that open source projects need to be owned and fostered by the community." Also hoped for is a growth in participating developers. Peddibhotla: "Development of Moblin will continue to be managed as always by the established norms of other open source projects wherein contributions are included based on the technical merit regardless of the origin of the contribution."

The strategic advantage that the free platform has for Intel shows in the list of Linux developers already participating in the project, among them Alan Cox and the former technical head of SUSE, Dirk Hohndel. Peddibhotla feels that this should continue to be the case.

End of January Intel demonstrated Moblin2 with an especially eye-catching netbook startup time. In February Intel then added LG to its partners and founded a development center in Taiwan together with government and industry to accelerate growth opportunities for mobile device makers. Yet another alliance could give the mobile platform additional stimulus: together with BMW, Peugeot, GM, embedded provider Wind River and others, Intel at last month's CeBIT Open Source conference announced the GENEVI infotainment alliance. The next few months should start showing some results in that regard that are at least partly based on Moblin.

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