The developers behind the Moblin operating system for netbooks and MIDs (mobile internet devices) have announced plans to enable Google Android applications to run on Moblin. Let that sink in for a second.

OK, so here’s what it means. First, while there are thousands of applications that are already designed to run on Linux, Google Android is a hot mobile platform these days. Developers are coming up with all sorts of light weight apps to run on the system, and while most Linux apps are free and open source, Android developers can charge for their programs. And some mobile carriers already have revenue sharing agreements in place with Google, which gives carriers an added incentive to offer netbooks with Moblin or Android.

While there are a number of netbook makers starting to talk about installing Android on netbooks, this move will let users download, purchase, and run apps from the Android app store on a Linux platform designed specifically to run on computers, not cellphones. Plus it gives users access wider universe of applications to use.

In related news, Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, has already announced that it’s working on bringing Android compatibility to Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

So what do you think? Would you rather use a netbook running Moblin or Android? Or do you think the lines between these two operating systems is about to disappear?

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6 replies on “Moblin Linux to support Google Android applications”

  1. none of the two …. ubuntu (family) is best chioce as basic system running the rest (apps, if needed) on top. never change a stable winning team.

  2. There will prpbably be one big difference. DRMed apps probably won’t be allowed to run since if access to a ‘real’ Linux userland is available the only way to prevent the DRM being cracked would be to extend the jail to encompass the whole Linux desktop. Folks wouldn’t stand for it and even that wouldn’t work anyway since exploitable bugs for Linux apps are about as common as for Windows.

    No, I have been running Linux since Yggdrasil kids, time to face reality. We patch our bugs faster, the underlying UNIX design helps mitigate the impact of many bugs, yadda yadda. But most DRM solutions would fall to a single local root exploit and those go across the bug mailing lists on a monthly basis.

    Google is full of smart folks who also understand these things. Barring a full bore Trusted implementation, that would enrage the open source community that would otherwise be expected to be early adopters and evangelists, any DRM would be broke in the first few months.

    1. About the only way to achieve electronic DRM protection is to embedded the
      de-crypt hardware in the silicon of the LCD itself – –
      Which does not prohibit slick, synchronous, optical means to capture the frames.
      – – – –
      Of course, that would first require the entertainment industry to turn out something
      worth watching enough to go to the effort.
      – – – –
      Until the de-crypt chip can be embedded in the optical nerve, between the eyeball
      and the brain – DRM is a waste of good peoples time and money.

  3. The last one: The lines will blur until they disappear. Then there will be another fork. This is how innovation gets done in the open source world.


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