RealNetworks signs Linux deal

June 3, 2009 // 1:36 p.m.

Tags: #canonical #devicevm #hyperspace #linux #netbook #phoenix #realnetworks #realplayer #splashtop #xandros

Proof, if proof were needed, that Linux is making real headway in the consumer market – thanks largely to the success of Linux-based netbooks – has arrived in the form of a licensing agreement that will see RealPlayer made available for the open-source platform.

As reported over on AppScout, RealNetworks has joined forces with Linux luminaries Canonical, Xandros, Phoenix, and DeviceVM to bring the company's RealPlayer software to the Linux operating system.

The list of participants is an interesting one: Canonical is an obvious choice, having partnered with Dell to provide its Ubuntu operating system for Dell's range of recently-deceased Mini 9 and up-and-coming Mini 10 netbooks; Xandros likewise, having been selected by Asus to create a custom version of its distribution for the original Eee PC; Phoenix is better known for its range of PC BIOS packages, but is making waves in the Linux world with its instant-on HyperSpace Linux technology; and DeviceVM is another name in the instant-on Linux world, having developed Splashtop.

Clearly, RealNetworks isn't just aiming at the operating system level here: by bundling RealPlayer with BIOS-level instant-on operating systems, RealNetworks is hoping to become the de facto media player on such devices. However, without support for Adobe's Flash and standard optical media such as DVD out-of-the-box it's hard to see RealPlayer being the only playback package provided.

Despite this – and ignoring claims by Microsoft that Windows is a clear win on netbook platforms – RealNetworks clearly sees something in Linux on netbook platforms that its competitors have missed.

Does your Linux netbook cry out for a copy of RealPlayer, or are you more than happy playing such media via open-source packages such as VLC? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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