RealNetworks to build all-in-one media support into Linux Netbooks

RealPlayer on Linux Netbooks has become a reality thanks to a new licensing agreement, and maybe Ubuntu Netbooks will become a little more media-savvy.

One player to rule the Linux? RealNetworks

Chalk up a victory for those who crave all-in-one media integration on their Netbooks, because RealNetworks has announced a licensing agreement with many of the major Linux software companies to have RealPlayer for Mobile preinstalled on Ubuntu and Instant-On Netbook OS systems made by Xandros, Phoenix Technologies, DeviceVM, and Canonical.

An "Instant-On" system, usually Linux-based, is a miniature OS that boots up quicker than the main OS, allowing quicker on-the-fly access of files. For Netbooks, the advantage to an Instant-On system is obvious, but often these environments are significantly hobbled in usability. Presto, HyperSpace, and Splashtop, made by Xandros, Phoenix Technologies, and Device VM, will all get RealPlayer-branded players. Splashtop already comes preinstalled on Lenovo, Asus, HP, and LG Netbooks.

Ubuntu Netbooks have been achieving significant market share because of their price, but a branded all-in-one solution for various media formats will only help their share improve. In this regard, RealNetworks' Computex-timed announcement of their licensing agreement is good timing. The relative cost-effectiveness of RealPlayer, which includes most codecs, for Netbook manufacturers, also doesn't hurt.

Netbooks are rapidly becoming relied on for their media-playing capabilities, and if this helps chip away at making Netbooks even savvier at handling video, and at making cheaper Ubuntu Netbooks more versatile, then we're all for it.

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne