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Latest Moblin Linux polished for netbooks

3G, Bluetooth, and browser boost

The effort putting Linux on Intel's mobile Atom processor has seen its latest release, with an across-the-board polish for Moblin.

The steering committee of the Moblin Project, the Intel-initiated effort that was spun off to the Linux Foundation earlier this year, proudly announced a raft of capabilities new to version 2.1.

These include enhanced browser functionality and plug-in support, UI enhancements, support for 3G data connections, Bluetooth device management, an integrated application installer for the Moblin Garage and overall improvements in performance and stability.

When Moblin 2.1 made its "you-can-look-but-don't-touch" debut in late September, it was demoed on a Compal mobile internet device (MID) and an Acer netbook. Some of its new features, however, such as 3G support, a scalable UI, and enhancements to the wonderfully named ConnMan (connection manager) would be equally welcome in smaller form-factor devices - what Intel's mobile-platform general manager Mooly Eden describes as "carry on you" devices as opposed to "carry with you" netbooks.

The current Intel Atom for which Moblin is designed, of course, is too large and power-hungry for pocketable handhelds, but Intel hopes that its upcoming lower-power 45nm Moorestown package might lead Moblin into smaller devices. Some observers, however, believe that Moblin's smartphone future will ride on the 32nm Medfield, the Atom's 2011 follow-on.

Moblin 2.1 will find an immediate home in netbooks, and now that UI scaling has been added, in nettops as well. You can download a copy here and dig into the release notes here. ®

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