Intel to pitch in on developing Chrome

The chipmaker will work with Google on the Chrome OS in the same way it contributes to other Linux distributions, which take in parts of Intel's Moblin code

Intel will work with Google on the development of its Linux-based Chrome operating system for netbooks, the chipmaker's open-source technology chief has said.

Imad Sousou, who is in charge of the Moblin mobile Linux project, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that Intel did not view Moblin as a competitor to other versions of Linux. The company will work with Google in the same way it is working with other Linux distributors such as Novell and Canonical, he said.

Intel's Moblin, which is tailored to the chipmaker's Atom processor, can be used as an operating system for netbooks and other mobile devices in its own right. However, other Linux distributors can also take parts of it — particularly the user-experience components such as its social-networking integration and media management — and incorporate those into netbook-optimised versions of their own distributions.

Novell has already released a Moblin-using version of Suse Linux for netbooks, and Canonical is about to do the same with the Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Sousou said Intel will work with Google on Chrome OS, but he would not say whether a specific development collaboration between the two companies had begun yet. "We already work with Google in the upstreams — the kernel, the graphics subsystems and all those great upstream Linux products," he said. "This is what happens in the open-source community."

Google announced the development of the browser-centric Chrome OS in July, predicting that the operating system would find its way onto netbooks in the second half of 2010.

Intel's work in maintaining Linux compatibility with Bluetooth technology has already been used in Google's Android mobile operating system, Sousou pointed out. He added that this work had also been used in Nokia's Maemo mobile Linux operating system.