Dell is hot on Moblin, lukewarm on Chrome

It looks like there’ll be Linux-powered netbooks MIDS and more in Dell’s future but Moblin rather than Chrome appears to be the distro de jour.

In an update on the Direct2Dell blog today which was most likely created in response to industry speculation over why Dell was missing from Google’s list of hardware partners for the Chrome OS the PC powerhouse says it’s looking at both of the bespoke Linux versions.

Resident Dell blogger Doug A. confirms that “Dell plans to evaluate the Chrome OS”. He flags the intersection of Chrome which is intended for netbooks the Android smartphone OS and Google’s overall cloud computing strategy as one that Dell is especially interested in. “I think it will be interesting to see what the interaction between Chrome OS and Android will ultimately be within the cloud.”

“Given that Google has made it clear that the Chrome OS will be available in the second half of 2010 there’s still a lot of time to see how this will develop. While there’s still lots of questions about the OS the idea has potential.”

Dell is clearly more bullish on Mobil the Intel-backed OS which is is closer to reality and shaped for a new type of user experience on a new class of hardware – compact mobile Internet devices – rather than replicating the conventional desktop UI.

“Moblin is the next evolutionary step of the traditional Linux environment where focus on smaller devices and small screens is a requirement. Applications take up the entire desktop in Moblin (because screen real estate is a premium in these kinds of devices).”

“Hence applications that are optimised around that behaviour provide a greater user experience over the traditional Linux version of the same application. Users of Moblin see a targeted feature set (browsing social networking/email media) and the entire Moblin desktop directs and focuses the user on those features.”

“Dell is very interested in Moblin at present and is working very closely with its key Moblin partners (Intel and Canonical) investigating potential offerings.”