Acer will use Moblin Linux across its products

The company showed an Aspire One netbook with Moblin 2.0 installed

The world's third-largest PC vendor plans to roll out the Moblin Linux operating system, championed by Intel, in its products, a top executive said Wednesday.

"Acer is in the process of putting Moblin in the range of its products," said R.C. Chang, chief technology officer at Acer, at a news conference in Taipei.

Acer products that will soon run with Moblin Linux include Aspire One nettops, as well as regular laptop and desktop PCs, he said.

Aspire One netbooks already running Moblin were on display at the news conference. Moblin was developed for netbooks, which are mini-laptops built for mobility with low-power microprocessors, 10-inch screens and six-cell batteries for long run times.

An updated version of the operating system, Moblin 2.0, was released last month, and it has proven popular at Computex Taipei 2009.

A number of netbooks were on display at the news conference, running several different versions of Moblin on various netbooks, including Suse Moblin, Xandros Moblin, Linpus Moblin, Red Flag Moblin and Ubuntu Moblin running on netbooks from Hewlett-Packard, Asustek Computer, Micro-Star International and Hasee Computer.

There were also a few handheld computers, which Intel calls mobile Internet devices, running Moblin 2.0. BenQ displayed its new S6 MID running on Moblin, while Compal Electronics showed off an MID with a slide-out QWERTY keypad.

Ellis Wang, software product marketing director at Asustek Computer, showed off an Eee Keyboard, which is a keyboard with a built-in LCD screen and computer, with a Moblin OS at the conference.

Moblin 2.0 has met with some controversy since its launch. The easy use and nice look of the software has prompted several reports to call chip giant Intel an OS company, and Moblin 2.0 a rival to Windows in netbooks.

Moblin 2.0 offers a number of improvements over the previous version, including an improved user interface, quick boot-up and easy connections to messaging and social networking sites such as Facebook.

Doug Fisher, vice president of the software and services group at Intel, said his team is aiming for a 5-second bootup for Moblin because mobile users are accustomed to quick boot-up times.

The company also continues to optimize Moblin to squeeze the most power savings possible out of its Atom microprocessors, he said.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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