Software is key to MID market's take off

Growing an active developer community will help ensure mobile Internet devices (MIDs) take off, says Intel top executive.

SHANGHAI--Cultivating a software developer community will help ensure the new mobility market that Intel has highlighted, takes off, said an Intel top executive.

Renee James, Intel vice president and general manager of its software and solutions group, said Thursday in her keynote speech at Intel Developer Forum 2008 that having a good and active developer community will help the mobility market take off.

The company has spent the past two days discussing the mobility market--a segment it intends to enter with its Atom processor targeted at low-powered devices such as MIDs (mobile Internet devices).

"Because this market is so new, there isn't an ecosystem yet," James said.

To that end, Intel has set up Moblin, or the Mobile Internet Linux Project, an effort aimed at developing applications for MIDs. Since its announcement last year, a lineup of big names have signed up, including Real, Skype, Ubuntu-maker Canonical and the Asianux consortium.

One of the project's goals is to ensure compatibility across different mobile platforms through a standardized set of APIs (application programming interfaces).

James said the company intends to capitalize on the exploding software developer community in Asia. While a large proportion of developers have historically originated from North America and Europe, James said this has not been the case in the last decade.

"The software industry in China is growing so fast that the number of developers is expected to triple by the end of the decade, too," said James, adding that the number of developers in Asia is expected to reach 5.4 million by 2011, with 2.5 million of those in China by 2012, according to the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry.

Victoria Ho of ZDNet Asia reported from Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China.


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