The site has already posted an initial list of projects that it will undertake, including key components such as the kernel, browser, power management framework and a user interface framework.
So far the site lists Ubuntu's Mobile and Embedded Edition and Red Flag's MIDINUX Linux distributions as participants. This leaves out what is arguably the world's most deployed embedded Linux distribution: MontaVista Linux.
"MontaVista has been aware of this initiative by Intel for some time and has met with Intel a number of times to discuss the project," Jim Ready, CTO and founder of MontaVista, told internetnews.com. "As the devices Intel is making become competitive in the market, we will respond to our customers' demand for support by porting MontaVista Mobilinux to these devices."
MontaVista's Mobilinux is a version of its MontaVista Linux embedded offering that is specifically tailored for the needs of mobile devices. Ready said he doesn't consider Moblin as competing with MontaVista.
According to Ready, MontaVista is very supportive of efforts that improve Linux and make it suitable for as many devices as possible. He went on to note that MontaVista, along with the support of its semiconductor partners (Texas Instrument and Intel) and customers (NEC, Panasonic and Motorola), have delivered production quality MontaVista Linux for mobile devices that have shipped in more than 30 million devices.
That said, there is a fundamental difference between what Intel is doing with Moblin and what MontaVista does.
"MontaVista is in the business of delivering a production-quality, technologically advanced, fully supported Linux distribution (MontaVista Mobilinux), which is responsive to customers' time-to-market requirements," Ready explained.
"The Intel effort, while interesting and useful, does none of these. Nor is it designed to. Like many open source projects it will produce prototype software of varying utility and quality on unpredictable schedules, as it should. It's up to companies, such as MontaVista and the device makers themselves, to decide if they want to invest in the effort to make useable real products out of the technology."
Ready also pointed out that what Intel is now doing with Mobile Linux is similar to how Intel a few years back was able to help drive Carrier Grade Linux.