I don’t want to be, but I’m on the precipice of saying I told you so. When news of Moblin V2 popped out yesterday there was a slight but important twist in expectations. The Alpha release is ““initially targeted at Netbooks running the Intel Atom platform.Ã¢â‚¬Â We won’t see Moblin for MIDs until 2010. This is leading to thought that MIDs might be taking a quick path to the backseat in Intel’s plans. What’s the problem you may be asking? Aren’t Netbooks mobile and targeted towards Internet usage? Well they are, and there really isn’t a problem. But let’s look back a bit to the pre-netbook days.
When Intel initially announced its Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform it was to be a device that would fit in your pocket, always connected, and with many of those devices targeted at different segments of the market (entertainment, navigation, etc ). Intel was quite clear early on that devices we were supposed to see in 2008 were early moves towards what would come in 2009 and 2010. They still had work to do.
Then came the Netbook explosion, precipitated by Asus and the Eee line. We all know how that evolved. Netbooks came and conquered are now being blamed for everything from Microsoft’s layoffs to the implosion of the global economy. When the Netbook race began to take off, we heard the first news that shipments of the early MIDs were going to be delayed. I said then, (and this is the I told you so part) that Netbooks were going to eclipse MIDs in everyone’s minds.
Netbooks have taken over and while everyone still scratches their heads over the potential profit margins in the segment, at least at the moment it doesn’t look like the pace will slow down. Intel is focusing on the Atom gravy train, and I’m guessing beginning to doubt the viability of the MID platform in light of that. The Mobiln v2 announcement is showing which way the wind is blowing. Intel’s initial roadmap showed a long journey, so there is logic in those invested in the MID platform taking a step back and focusing on what’s hot right now. It just makes common sense.
Steve ““ChippyÃ¢â‚¬Â Paine follows this much more closely and more thoroughly than we do here, and he’s got some excellent writing on this on UMPCPortal.