What's the best OS for a netbook? Windows 7? XP? Presto or some other Linux variant? The answer may just be, "none of the above." Intel-backed Moblin is an operating system built expressly for netbooks, and from what I've seen so far, it's a winner. See for yourself in this video:
Of course, whether or not you like Moblin really depends on how you use your netbook. If you need it to run Windows apps, well, obviously it's not the answer. But if you use it for e-mail, Web browsing, and other lightweight tasks, Moblin might be the perfect OS. It has a slick, speedy, logically designed interface, and it promises to run thousands of Linux apps (it does have a Linux core, after all).
I managed to install the Moblin v2.0 beta on a 1GB flash drive and boot it (live CD-style) on my Acer Aspire One. Though the OS is far from complete (seems a bit more like a 0.2 release than a 2.0), it's really coming along nicely. Just one problem: There's no shutdown option!
According to the boys over at jkOnTheRun, Intel says Moblin should be ready for OEMs by this summer, meaning you could see it on netbooks before the end of the year. That'll be interesting timing given the imminent arrival of Windows 7, the Basic version of which Microsoft is earmarking for netbooks. OS smackdown, anyone?