Moblin may not have garnered much press coverage, but Intel is still developing the operating system for netbooks and mobile Internet devices (MIDs) based on its hardware. And according to Ars Technica, the chipmaker has now released the first alpha build of Moblin 2.
The open-source OS uses Linux as its base, and Ars says it's actually derived from the Fedora distribution. However, Intel has made changes to make it snappier and more suitable for Atom-powered handhelds: the official release notes mention a "Fastboot" feature, a custom networking manager, and some special user-interface development tools. Speaking of user interfaces, Moblin uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment instead of more resource-hungry alternatives like GNOME and KDE.
You can grab Moblin for your netbook or MID from the Test Drive Moblin page. Intel offers a 280MB live image that can be copied to a USB pen drive, and it says it's tested the alpha release on Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee PC, and Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks.