Intel demos MeeGo OS on multitouch tablet

An early demo of Intel's Linux-based MeeGo OS for tablets shows multitouch, multitasking, and enhanced social networking capabilities

Intel has posted a demonstration of its Linux-based MeeGo OS for tablet computers via a YouTube video that shows the OS's multitouch support, multitasking, and integrated social networking.

The video, which runs just over three minutes, is dated June 17, with the company offering a link to it in a blog entry at its Intel Atom Developer Program site.

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The demonstration shows a pre-alpha version of MeeGo OS 1.1 using a multitouch tablet PC. It shows a dynamic UI with split panels so that users can view recent videos, photos and other content. The OS also has integrated social-networking tools so that users can view updates from sites like Facebook and Twitter in real time.

The OS can run multiple applications at the same time -- in the demonstration, a background music application runs while an image is being edited in a photo application. Multitouch capabilities are used for resizing and reshaping the images. One application was capable of accepting input from five fingers simultaneously.

"I can imaging [sic] some cool multiplayer tablet games allowing 5 people to control part of the screen and game play," wrote Bob Duffy, an Intel Atom Developer Community manager, in the Intel blog entry.

It is possible some features shown in the pre-alpha demonstration will not wind up in the final version of the OS, Duffy wrote. "But you can definitely see what is going on here and imagine the kind of experience MeeGo will deliver," he wrote, adding that the OS is slated for a "fall" release. That points to between late September and late December.

The MeeGo OS will likely vie for market share with a number of Linux-based tablet OSes such as Google's Android. Canonical in the past has said it would come out with a version of the Ubuntu OS that will work on tablets.

Apple's iPad is driving the burgeoning popularity of tablets, research firm IDC has said. Tablet shipments could total 7 million by the end of this year and top 46 million by 2014, IDC said.

The MeeGo OS is targeted at mobile and embedded devices and was first announced in February. MeeGo is a joint development effort between Intel and Nokia, though it is managed by The Linux Foundation. The MeeGo version for netbooks was released last month.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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