Bloggers from the Linux Foundation are propounding the news, as they should—Moblin is now under their purview, so they were the ones who decided it should be merged. However, at least one dissenting viewpoint comes form Vision Mobile’s “Thucydides Sigs” (best nom de plume I have seen in a while), who proclaims that “Two (M)onkeys don’t make a (G)orilla. But they sure make a lot of noise“.
“Thucydides” makes a few interesting points. One is the obvious, that Android is swamping the mobile market right now, leaving both Maemo and Moblin behind in the mobile consumer electronics space. The move also enables Maemo to enter into Moblin’s markets, including automotive, which is by some accounts the fastest-growing embedded sector.
The dissenting view in the article is actually more an observation on motive. Intel’s involvement means something to Nokia and Maemo that is reminiscent of what it meant to Wind River Linux when Intel bought Wind River last year—a perceived threat to take market share away from ARM. Whether this is actually the case remains to be seen. Wind River continues to provide support for ARM processors, despite some warnings from pundits, though it continues to fall behind MontaVista’s rising star.
My opinion? “Thucydides” is playing devil’s advocate here with a snappy headline, but showing us in the meat of the article what is plainly obvious: this merger is good for embedded Linux in general, rising the tide and lifting all of us little boats.
While stealing market share may have been Intel’s motive for this merger, I am frankly not sure it matters. What is certain is that two promising yet fragmentary major open-source projects have merged to form a single project much stronger than either of them would have been alone, and what’s more, they have unique opportunities that place them in partly the same market as Android—providing healthy competition—and partly in orthogonal markets, increasing the reach of embedded open-source software greatly and further increasing choice for developers. As a developer’s advocate, I have to get behind that.
FD: I work for MontaVista, w00t!