While Microsoft is finally buying a clue and incorporating its Zune media playing and Xbox game capability into its new Windows Mobile, mobile Linux is making its own improvements. First, Intel and Nokia are merging their mobile Linux distributions into a single operating system: MeeGo. At the same time, Adobe and Google has partnered up to bring Adobe Flash to Android.
MeeGo has great promise. I always liked Intel’s Moblin and merging it with Nokia’s Maemo is a smart move. As Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, which has served as midwife to this move observed: it helps “create “one open-source uber-platform for the next generation of computing devices: tablets, pocketable computers, netbooks, automotive IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) and more.” And, “With MeeGo you have the world’s largest chip manufacturer and the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer joining forces to create an incredible opportunity for developers who want to reach millions of users with innovative technology.”
All true, but what I think is more important is that it’s a move towards unity to mobile Linux distributions. One of the big reasons why Unix, Linux’s ancestor, was never successful in becoming a major operating system except in servers was that there were always half-a-dozen or more competiting systems that were always competiting with each other. While SunOS was battling with AIX, which was slugging it out with HP/UX, which was having it out with SCO OpenServer, etc. etc., Microsoft Windows was left free to mop up on the desktop.