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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Linux to Dominate on Mobile Internet Devices

The Mobile Internet Devices (MID) market is likely to be the first example of a greenfield situation in which all mobile operating systems start on the same equal footing, without the baggage of previous histories -- such as existed in the smartphone market.

The Linux OS, in the form of Moblin, LiMo and Maemo, looks ready to take the lion's share of the MID market and is set to capture unit volumes of 50 millions units per annum in 2013.

ABI Research vice president and research director Stuart Carlaw says, "Maemo is already in this space thanks to the patronage of Nokia; Moblin will benefit from tight integration with Atom and Intel's drive; and LiMo is actively being positioned for this market. The flexibility, customization and very positive cost comparison to Windows Mobile looks set to ensure that Linux takes the leading role in this market."

One of the more significant aspects of the Linux OS in this market is its ability to provide a converged platform that can span multiple device segments. The concept of a single OS that covers MIDs, smartphones and mid-tier devices is very attractive indeed.

In reality, only LiMo and potentially Moblin hold the possibility of achieving this level of success.

ABI's Mobile Linux report, provides a picture of the projected uptake of Linux in two major applications, as a commercial OS and as an RTOS replacement. It offers a candid analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Linux solution, and describes major drivers and barriers that are dictating the growth of the mobile Linux market.