Moblin is a custom Linux distribution designed for netbooks and other low power portable devices. For the past few years Intel has been developing the platform. And it’s come a long way recently. While there’s still a lot of work to do, the latest Alpha version of the operating system works quite well on a number of current generation netboks including the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9, MSI Wind, and Asus Eee PC lineup.
The idea isn’t that the wider open source community will necessarily do a better job of developing the software than Intel has (although that’s certainly possible). But by giving the larger community of open source developers greater access to the source code of an operating system that’s optimizied to work with Intel Atom processors, Intel is hoping to drum up enthusiasm for its already-popular processor and chipset.