Intel ups tablet ammo with MeeGo, Android 2.2 for x86

Two open source tablet PC interfaces for one architecture

Software development for portable devices and tablet PCs is ramping up in a big way at Intel with the processor giant now backing Google’s Android for x86 computers alongside its own MeeGo operating system.

Back in April it had ported Android to Atom-based smartphones as part of a strategy to enable all operating systems for Atom phones.

Since then the collaboration between Intel and Nokia on MeeGo bore fruit with the release of MeeGo 1.0 for netbooks.

Well before these recent developments, Intel had signalled its intentions to work with Android by supporting Android Market applications on its Moblin platform 12 months ago.

With the release of the iPad and iPhone 4 the buzz is all about tablet PCs and touch interfaces, which is where Android’s market lies.

The source code for the latest Android release, version 2.2 code named “Froyo”, was made public by Google last week and Intel subsequently said it would port the Linux-based operating system to the x86 architecture as it has done in the past with Atom.

The main Android branch is developed for the ARM architecture, with Intel maintaining the x86 branch as part of the regular Android developer community.

MeeGo, however, is set to join the touch screen foray alongside Android with a new early release being demonstrated by Intel on YouTube.

Version 1.1 of MeeGo will introduce support for tablet PCs and include multi-touch. It is due for release sometime around the third quarter of 2010.

By supporting MeeGo, Android, Windows 7 and other Linux distributions like Ubuntu’s forthcoming tablet PCs release, Intel will give customers plenty of choice for an iPad alternative.

The roadmap for MeeGo development is online at MeeGo.com.

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