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Mobile Linux stack targets MIDs

Aug 4, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

[Updated Aug. 5] — Access has positioned its Access Linux Platform (ALP) for use on mobile Internet devices (MIDs). At LinuxWorld this week in San Francisco, Access will demonstrate new ALP features such as Web-based widget and touchscreen support on a TI Zoom mobile development kit.

ALP has been primarily marketed as a mobile phone stack in recent years. And, it appears to be finally gaining success, with efforts ongoing to adapt ALP to NTT DoCoMo's 3G network. NTT DoCoMo is Japan's largest carrier.

However, ALP was originally conceived as a general-purpose operating system for mobile devices. Access says ALP's flexibility will enable MID makers to create differentiated devices offering Web 2.0 experiences on larger touchscreen displays than phones typically have.

The first MIDs are expected to arrive this year, with the market reaching 90 million units annually by 2012, according to ABI research cited by Access. Other MID Linux suppliers include LiMo, Moblin, and Maemo, according to another recent ABI report. While Maemo and Moblin are open source projects, LiMo and Access both stand to attract software developers to their respective phone stacks by supporting MIDs; having real target hardware simplifies application development.

Seshu Madhavapeddy, GM of the Mobile Internet Device business group at Texas Instruments, stated, “By working with ACCESS to integrate OMAP platform-based hardware and software, we can deliver no-compromise web browsing and an enhanced user experience.”

In other news, Access announced that ALP has gained support for web-based Widgets, similar to those offered by Google, Yahoo, and AOL. Widgets are mini-apps, coded using Web standards, that run in unframed browser windows that lack buttons, allowing them to look like any other application. Widgets are typically used to update frequently viewed data or personalized content from the Web, and can even be used for user interface elements.


Access said ALP is available immediately for use on MIDs. Besides hosting a developer day, the vendor will demonstrate ALP on Texas Instruments's Zoom Mobile Development Kit.

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