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New SUSE/Moblin Linux netbook from MSI arrives

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What do you get when you mix Novell’s SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 11 with the Linux Foundation’s Moblin 2.1 netbook desktop? A lightweight Linux desktop that’s trying to snag the netbook desktop market before Google’s Chrome OS runs away with it later this year.

How well will Novell do at this? Well, after working with the Linux Foundation and Intel on combining the Moblin and SUSE Linux, we’re about to find out. Today, on January 7th, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Association), we’ll find out. MSI is releasing the first shipping of SUSE Moblin on its MSI U135 netbook.

According to Guy Lunardi, Novell’s director of client preloads, the mix and match of SUSE/Moblin’s core package is built on top of the Moblin 2.1’s 2.6.31 Linux kernel. Above that, most of the software is from SLED 11. Instead of KDE 4.3, though, for the interface, it uses the Moblin Web-oriented interface. So, for example, to use Firefox for your Web browser, you’ll get to it via the Moblin toolbar.

The U135 is powered by a second-generation 1.66GHz Intel Atom 450 Pineview processor. It comes with a 10-inch LED back-lit screen with a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels. The U135 also comes with a fully-supported 1.3-megapixel Webcam. Lunardi said that it’s good enough that he now uses the U135 for all his Skype video-calls.

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