Mobilin, Intel's Linux distribution aimed at netbooks and mobile internet devices, looks to be taking a leaf from Ubuntu's books with the news that it is to support Android applications – and include access to the Android Market software store.
Although Google's open-source mobile platform has some way to go before it will challenge Apple's lead in the market, it's certainly getting quite a bit of attention from developers. With that steady stream of applications – available via the App Store-style Android Market run by Google – Canonical's Ubuntu was the first mainstream Linux distribution to get in on the act and announce a compatibility layer
which will allow Android apps to run.
According to PC World
, Intel also thinks that many of the applications being developed for the mobile-phone oriented Android platform are a good fit for netbooks, too: so much so that it will be bringing support for applications downloaded from the Android Market to Moblin 2.0 in the near future.
The system will operate in a similar way to that announced by Canonical: a run-time environment will provide a compatibility layer between the Android application and the Moblin operating system, allowing the applications to run as they would on a native Android system.
A spokesman for Intel confirmed that the company is looking to both the netbook market and the MID – Mobile Internet Device – sector, and that tapping in to the Android Market could be the key to winning the hearts and minds of both the consumers and the carriers: thanks to a revenue share agreement between the carries and Google, mobile companies could stand to profit from the sale of Moblin-based MIDs – even if they didn't feature a profitable 3G modem therein.
Although Intel has successfully demonstrated the technology running on a standard netbook, the company has yet to announce a planned launch date.
Do you agree with Canonical and Intel that Android apps could well be the future for both smartphones and netbooks, or are both companies on a hiding to nothing unless they're planning on making phone handsets? Will Google take the 'theft' of their Android-developed apps lightly? Share your thoughts over in the forums