Moblin Beta review

The Intel backed linux OS reaches beta stage so we decided to give it a test drive

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Our Verdict

This release represents a significant step forward for linux in the netbook world. We are looking forward to seeing the final release


  • Zones work well
  • Good media support
  • Scrolling toolbars


  • Toolbar gets in the way
  • Still some work needed

At the core of the Moblin desktop is Myzone, the Intel equivalent to iGoogle. It's a dynamic homepage that pulls data from various Moblin components.

There's a thumbnail list of recently viewed web pages, upcoming appointments and a quick launch toolbar. The desktop includes standard Linux applications, all bound together by a scrolling toolbar.

The entire windowing system is full of fluid transitions and smooth scrolling thanks to a technology called Clutter. This has also tamed virtual desktops, transforming them into something Moblin calls 'zones'.


MOBLIN ZONES: Zones are the Moblin equivalent of virtual desktops

New applications can be added to a new or old zone, complete with [Alt]+[Tab] previews. But there are omissions. We'd like to see a single pervasive search and an official method of adding new applications.

The toolbar also gets in the way when you close applications. But all of this can be fixed, and Moblin still represents a significant step forward for Linux on netbooks.

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