Imad Sousou is the director of Intel's Open Source Technology Center, which is behind the Moblin project--aimed at providing optimized Linux technology for Netbooks and mobile Internet devices.
On Wednesday, ZDNet UK caught up with Sousou at the Open Source In Mobile 09 event in Amsterdam, to discuss the nature of Moblin and the hardware on which it will run.
Q: There seems to be some confusion over what Moblin entails--it appears to be a full Linux distribution, but we have seen Suse and Linpus flavors, and Canonical are about to release an Ubuntu flavor. What is Moblin? Sousou: What Moblin really is, in technical terms, is a community distribution, much like Fedora or Debian, that people tend to use in different ways.
There are certain operating-system vendors who take Moblin completely as is and use it, and add customization and provide support, and there are those who take various technologies from Moblin and incorporate them into their own operating systems--although, when people do that, they tend to focus on the user experience.
When you hear, for example, Novell is taking Moblin or Ubuntu is doing Ubuntu Moblin, they are using the operating-system infrastructure and taking the Moblin user experience, which is a set of applications--the 3D infrastructure and a set of libraries, infrastructure components like the social networking, media management, and so on.
Essentially, from a technical standpoint, you end up with the same thing, but for the OS vendors it is sometimes easier to use a distribution system that they already use. We made it easy for them to use that.
I don't think there is a lot of confusion anymore, at least not with the people who use Moblin. It is a full OS but you don't have to use the full OS.
You're about to release Moblin v2.0. Can you tell us more about that? Sousou: (As a) release from an open-source perspective, it's a milestone more than it is a product release--product releases come from OS vendors and OEMs (manufacturers). Soon you will start to see OEMs shipping Netbooks with Moblin. You will see an announcement over the next week or two.
It's still in beta--right now we're in the very final phase. Very minor but critical bug fixes are being done based on input from OEMs and OS vendors. We don't want to call it a release until someone actually ships a product with it.
The final version will be available for download over the next couple of weeks. Once that happens,… Read more