Adobe and RealNetworks are backing Intel's drive to put Linux on Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and will offer versions of AIR and RealPlayer, respectively, for handheld devices that use the open-source operating system, the chip maker said.
Intel is touting the imminent arrival of these devices at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Shanghai. Based on Intel's Atom processor, formerly called Silverthorne, these small computers will have touchscreens or slide-out keyboards and wireless connectivity, including Wi-Fi or WiMax.
Pitched as a companion device that complements a user's computer, MIDs are intended to give users internet access while they are on the go.
As part of the MID development effort, Intel has been working closely with Linux developers Canonical and Asianux to produce modified versions of the open-source operating system with improved power management. The chip maker also backs an effort to develop a version of the Mozilla web browser using a touch-based interface that would be used on MIDs.
On Monday, Adobe joined the Linux Foundation and released an alpha version of AIR, an internet application platform, for Linux. AIR is already available for Windows and Mac OS. Adobe bills AIR as a platform for developing internet-enabled applications that can run on different platforms, and adding Linux support also opens the door for applications to run on MIDs.
Like the RealPlayer for Linux, RealPlayer for MID is based on the open-source Helix media player and supports a broad range of file types. Producing a media player for MIDs has been one of the main aims of Intel's Moblin.org project, which sought to develop a player based on Helix or Gstreamer.