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Intel Relying On Ice Cream Sandwich For Tablet Push

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the waiting-for-a-piggyback-ride dept.

Android 215

An anonymous reader writes "Intel thinks tablets live and die by their software, not their hardware. So as they get ready for a big push into the mobile device market, they're relying on Ice Cream Sandwich to provide competition with Apple's products. From the article: 'The company has largely watched from the sidelines as mobile device makers have used processors based on ARM's microarchitecture to power their products in recent years. This despite the fact that Intel actually predicted the rise of what it called "mobile Internet devices," or MIDs, several years ago, and built a chip, Atom, for such gadgets. For all that [Intel CEO Paul Otellini] touts the software over the hardware when it comes to tablets, Intel knows it's got a lot of ground to make up to wrest design wins away from ARM. The Medfield System-on-a-Chip (SoC) is a promising but still uncertain step in that direction.' Otellini thinks the tablet market will get much more competitive over the next year as ICS devices mature and Windows 8 devices arrive."

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It is a little stinky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779179)

when you shove an ice cream sandwich up your ass and then eat it. Melts alot of the ice cream too.

Re:It is a little stinky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779235)

when you shove an ice cream sandwich up your ass and then eat it. Melts alot of the ice cream too.

I think the heat produced from the rather inefficient x86 chips melts the ice cream too. But it's not as soothing as your method.

Re:It is a little stinky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779579)

As a victim of Intel's legal belligerence, I hope that each and all the employees in their legal department as well as their external legal counsels pick an inefficient x86 chip, stick it into an ice cream sandwich, shove the whole thing up their left cubicle mate's ass, give it to eat to their right cubicle mate, and they all die a long and painful death from self poisoning.

I hope I am not being too explicit.

Yes it's totally software, but (-1, Troll)

Kplx138 (2523712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779289)

You waited too long intel, sitting on the sidelines. You probably even thought that this tablet thing was all just a craze and would fade away as quickly as it had come (but call it a wait and see approach just incase you were wrong). But now ARM is the big boy in the tablet (and mobile phone) field. Just like microsoft had a wait and see attitude with mobile phone OS then iOS and Android swept the market and then they released windows mobile 7 to a world that didn't care. So you'll release your tablets with ICS and windows8. Everyone will root their windows8 device to install ICS anyway because Win8 is terrible and people will figure it out quick. Any tablet device slapped with an 'Intel Inside' sticker will most likely flounder as everyone buys iPads and samsung galaxy tablets. In short Intel stick to desktops and laptops also get nvidia to produce a video card driver that doesn't crash every 5 minutes thank you gtx560.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2, Insightful)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779325)

Microsoft didn't wait and see.... Windows CE was around on tablets (including ARM and MIPS-based ones) for a long time before Android ever existed. They were typically called Handheld PC or Palm-size PC devices. Windows CE 2.1 was actually pretty tolerable on the HP 320LX and Sharp Mobilon HC4100 I had. Never liked releases much past that.

Apple also had "tablets" long before Android, iOS, etc. The Newton MessagePad of which the 2100 was actually really nice and the eMate 300 bit slow but cool nonetheless. NewtonOS 2.1 certainly didn't suck.

Linux and NetBSD have also been capable of running on such devices for a long time as well. I owned a few WinCE devices over the years and a couple of Newtons.

There have also been x86 tablets since the early 90's. Dauphin DTR1 and there was a tablet Thinkpad as well.

Did they have goofy oversized widgets for sloppy finger-based simple computer usage by retards? No. They were pen based. You know..... for functional useful software in a professional environment instead of a web browser on steroids for morons that can't type or write legibly anyway.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (4, Insightful)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779383)

And this is exactly the attitude that landed MS on last place on the mobile market. Calling its potential users morons and retards for wanting a sloppy dumbed-down UI, when in reality they were just average users who wanted a simple interface.
It doesn't matter when WinCE was around when it didn't deliver what people wanted.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779549)

Dreamcast definitely delivered with WinCE. Though, it was a highly optimized, very specific version of it.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779951)

Which almost nobody used...

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779599)

It didn't deliver what 14-year-olds wanted. It delivered what business users and field techs wanted quite nicely.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

shitzu (931108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779643)

I tried to use several types of PDAs etc for a decade in business environment. It was always more trouble than it was worth. Until iphone came along in 2007.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (5, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780075)

WinCE delivered professional grade suckiness - frequent crashes with data loss, and no upgrades to fix bugs at all. It looked like a scam to me. Professional non-tech people who used it against the advice of IT people (because it was "windows") were horrified at how crap it was, and could not wait to ditch it.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780565)

No, Office delivers what business users want and Ms mints money with that product. Non finger friendly operating systems on touch screen devices deliver nothing but lost profits for any company stupid enough to try to sell one. You and the clueless idiots that modded you up are ignoring reality. But I'm sure you're much "better" than the iPad users you insufferable jackass.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779655)

I don't know about that. WinCE was way, way ahead of competitors for some time in many ways, right up until they abandoned Windows CE in preference for "Windows Phone". Things like:

* Mobile access to commonly emailed documents
* A good integrated mail client
* Thorough integrated contact management
* Excellent 3rd party mapping/GPS software
* Streaming and local video support

These are things Apple still lacks, and which Android devices are just now coming around to doing well. WinCE's biggest shortcomings were that:

* From a technical perspective, it had horrible support (for multitasking). Loading things was slow. This was probably due to its flash memory support and multiprocessing model, I suppose.
* Vendors fucked up the installs. Third party ROMs were usually much, much better - stable, fast - than what shipped on them. Think of the slowest, most hideously unstable Android device you've seen so far: that was a good day for a WinCE phone, and it was almost invariably the fault of the carrier.
* It was physically ugly compared to wiz-bang products like a Blackberry
* Microsoft didn't know what to do with it or how to control their IP (as with pretty much every 'mobile' venture they've made before or since).

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779791)

Strawman much?

It's exactly as OP said. Previous technology was engineered towards the goal of giving tools to businesses and professionals. Current devices are engineered as "entertainment devices". Microsoft never implied its potential users were retards at all. They just never considered the retard market being so large. They thought they would sell to businesses first and it would trickle outward. Like every other thing they have ever done.

Every other company gave up when they realized tablets were bad interfaces for productivity tasks. Only one company thought to turn it into an interactive idiot box, err.... television set.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779385)

Did they have goofy oversized widgets for sloppy finger-based simple computer usage by retards? No. They were pen based. You know..... for functional useful software in a professional environment instead of a web browser on steroids for morons that can't type or write legibly anyway.

And the sales figures for all of these were shit. I think you agree with Intel: it's all about the software.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779519)

They were also all based on resistive screens, as capacitive screens weren't around then (I think - at least I never saw one). Resistive screens are rather uncomfortable to use due to the need to apply considerable pressure, but they do have the advantage of allowing for greater precision with a pen than a cap screen and a squishy finger.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779623)

Good point. Much better than the froth and venom spewing from GP.

Wonder how an Android/iOS interface would differ if it was limited to resistive screens? (And I don't mean how would some nasty Chinese toilet tablet work. How would things be different from the ground up with resistive screens more firmly in mind.)

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779659)

There were resistive-capacitive screens around at the time, as well. Many of the resistive screens weren't all that bad, either - I had an NEC MobilePro 780 and its screen did not require that much pressure to activate at all (arguably being more accurate than most capacitive screens I've seen since, even while using just a finger). It all depended on the display in use, I suppose.

On the contrary, it took me weeks to get accustomed to the capacitive-only screen on my first smartphone. Talk about irritating...

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779973)

Resistive screens are rather uncomfortable to use due to the need to apply considerable pressure

Never noticed that on my Psion 5mx. Perhaps I have superhuman strength or something.

True, you could only use it for simple things (the same as an ordinary mouse) - select, drag etc. No gestures and stuff. But the UI was so well designed - no frills, clean, logical - it was really easy to use.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (-1, Flamebait)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779595)

Shit relative to what?

Educated users found them quite useful. Just because it doesn't appeal to the masses that are completely computer illiterate makes no difference to me. That's like saying Nuclear Reactors are shit because solar-powered calculators have larger sales numbers.

Sorry, just because poke-and-drool is appealing to computer illiterate retards doesn't mean it deserves to replace REAL tablets.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779609)

Shit relative to computer sales at the time or tablet sales of today.

Why the haterade for people who use computers in a different way and for different reasons than you do? "Poke-and-drool"? "Computer illiterate"? Is it necessary to tear down others to make you feel better? Do you simply not know how to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a more positive manor? Let go of the negativity, man. Your blood pressure will thank you.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2, Insightful)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779627)

No I'm just tired of having to pay double for a machine useful as a tool instead of a locked-down funnel for paid entertainment content.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780711)

You have a uid in the low 700k and you should know better. Why bring the discussion down to such a low level? Obviously many people find capacitive screen tablets useful and they are used by many serious businesses in a functional capacity. I wrote the catalog app framework my company uses for salespeople in the field. Our sales have probably doubled since putting it into production last year. We have a fleet of Acer A500 Android tablets btw. What should we do? Stop using the tablets and not worry about making money because of some anti-capacitive screen fan boy crusade? That is flat ludicrous. Not everybody is like you and is willing to torture themselves using a mouse centric os on a touch screen. The fact that you think so just makes you look like an ignorant pompous child. Seriously, the kind of low brow flaming you're laying down here is what I would expect from a 15 year old.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780185)

Don't be so sensitive, you pussy. "Poke-and-drool" is some funny shit. Describes iRetards perfectly.

Let go of the humorlessness, man. You need to move into a more positive manor. ROFL

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779387)

Windows CE 2.1 was actually pretty tolerable on the HP 320LX

DOS on the HP 200LX was much better than the 320 LX. A working RS-232 port, something so few put in, great for a roaming terminal, and people got them working with bar scanners and such for mobile inventory years before there was an App for that.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779603)

The 320LX had an RS232 port. Just slap a null-modem adapter on the sync cable. PCMCIA RS232 and ethernet cards could be used as well. There was plenty of inventory software for WinCE.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779499)

You missed the mark... What made the iPhone break thorough was the fine integration work. I had a WinCE PDA a decade ago, too, and it was an absolute nightmare to use for anything... Little things like the power button putting the device into standby (instead of just shutting off the screen) made it useless as an MP3/Ogg player.

The apps were all massively crippled. Pocket Office was inferior to Wordpad. Browsers were all crap, crippled compared to desktop versions, and nobody had figured out how to render full sized web pages on a 240x320 screen. They were still massively dependent on desktops. And worst of all, WinCE was just unresponsive crap. It was laggy as hell on 300MHz+ CPUs when Palm and others were snappy on 30MHz CPUs. The start menu model was never a good idea. And I despised having to go download a REGISTRY EDITOR for my PDA first thing to fix insanely stupid default settings...

Now if you actually wanted to get stuff done, Psions were awesome. Slide-out keyboard. Office suite that allowed composing pretty full-featured documents, even embedding charts and drawings into documents, and printing them out directly to the nearest IRDA enabled laser printer. There, some of the limitations were avoided just because the portrait display eliminated side-to-side scrolling with web browsing and whatnot. Even had a PDF reader, but you'd have to squint to read the tiny fonts, or deal with side-side scrolling every line... the software that makes smartphones tolerable today just wasn't even a dream back then.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779587)

Aaaah, Psion... I used to have (I still have it somewhere, I think) a Psion Revo+. I had Opera on it for webbrowsing and coupled with my Siemens S35i (which had an IRDA interface) I could surf and check my email everywhere. Sure, it wasn't speedy over GPRS, nor cheap... but it worked. I also remember the built-in email client fondly. That was just a Revo+, they had much better gear. Also keep in mind this was around 10 years ago!

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779617)

I never got a chance to play with the Psion.

I'll concede that WinCE had crap browsers but most browsers sucked back then, especially mobile.

My 75MHz MIPS-based Mobilon 4100 wasn't all that slow. It choked on things once in a while. It was far from perfect but didn't exactly suck.

I was more more of a NewtonOS fan myself. The MP2100 was quite nice. Never got a chance to play with Psion.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779923)

Yes, Psion 5MXs were astonishingly good. The keyboards were twice as good as anything since.

  This N900 I'm writing on is the only usable PDA since.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780281)

The apps were all massively crippled. Pocket Office was inferior to Wordpad. Browsers were all crap, crippled compared to desktop versions, and nobody had figured out how to render full sized web pages on a 240x320 screen.

I go into detail about that here:
http://dotancohen.com/eng/dell_axim.php [dotancohen.com]

I must note that every complaint that I had about that Windows Mobile device is about three times more valid for todays tablets. One step forward, four steps back.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779583)

"Did they have goofy oversized widgets for sloppy finger-based simple computer usage by retards? No. They were pen based. You know..... for functional useful software in a professional environment instead of a web browser on steroids for morons that can't type or write legibly anyway."

I love you.

*hugs Thinkpad tablet* (no, not the slow-ass Android version - a REAL Thinkpad tablet!).

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779651)

Did they have goofy oversized widgets for sloppy finger-based simple computer usage by retards? No. They were pen based. You know..... for functional useful software in a professional environment instead of a web browser on steroids for morons that can't type or write legibly anyway.

I wish every tech blog writer would write as honestly as you do. You're like a Hunter S. Thompson of nerd rage.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779377)

Just like microsoft had a wait and see attitude with mobile phone OS then iOS and Android swept the market and then they released windows mobile 7 to a world that didn't care.

I don't think that's a fair comparison. Microsoft entered the mobile device business long before Apple and Linux, the problem was that they sucked. Really bad. Until Windows Mobile 7 I always told people "whatever phone you get, make sure it doesn't have Windows on it". Now nobody asks me anymore... the question is "should I buy an Apple or something with Android on it?". So you're right about the not caring bit.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779403)

Just like microsoft had a wait and see attitude with mobile phone OS then iOS and Android swept the market and then they released windows mobile 7 to a world that didn't care.

I don't think that's a fair comparison. Microsoft entered the mobile device business long before Apple and Linux, the problem was that they sucked.

I dunno. Someone upthread remarked on the Apple Newtons, which were released a couple of years before the first release of Windows CE. No idea when Windows Pen first came out. Certainly none of these early attempts were that much earlier than the others.

But your basic point seems mostly correct: Microsoft did have some initial offerings that considerably predate Android and iOS. Perhaps OP is referring to Windows Mobile 7 & 8?

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2, Interesting)

engun (1234934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779379)

What makes you think Windows 8 will be terrible?

Even if Windows 8 is terrible, personally, I think Android will end up losing the tablet war. The reason is that windows 8 will be able to leverage its existing base of "software capital", and bulldoze its way into the tablet market. Android simply does not have certain critical software (e.g. - MS Word) running on it.

Think of it this way. The mass market desktop pc will die. For the vast majority of users, a simple tablet like device, with word processing capabilities, and media/internet capabilities, is all that's needed. Bulky laptops will disappear too, turning into tablets with Asus "transformer" like capabilities. Eventually, a multitude of device will be consolidated into one single tablet device - a single personal computer. People will want to do everything they did with their desktops, on their tablets. This will include word processing.

What answer does Android have to this?

If they don't fix this, and have their software base ready to rival MS-Word etc. I believe the ending will be very unfortunate, and MS can continue unhindered with their nasty monopoly.

The one consolation might be that Android will continue to thrive in the mobile phone segment, since a tablet form factor is too bulky to replace a phone, unless tiny phones become powerful enough to run Windows 8. Then, it might be curtain's for Android's there too. Why bother with several devices, when one single "personal computer" will do?

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779427)

having looked at windows 8, i would have to say that it is what makes me think it is (not "will be") terrible. granted it was the developers preview but even that was enough to make me run screaming in the other direction i have been unable to sleep due to the nightmares its memory has brought me ever since.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (5, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779433)

What makes you think Windows 8 will be terrible?

I'm using the Developer's Preview right now and I can tell you it's annoying as Hell, and it's not gonna change. Why? Because the things that make it annoying are things Microsoft wants to push.

There's no real Start menu. All programs have to be launched either from the Metro interface, an Explorer window of the program folder, or having the app docked on the taskbar. The Metro-enhanced apps look great on the Metro launcher, but regular apps just get their Start menu files added as tiles.I have several tiles labeled "Uninstaller" but I have no idea what program they uninstall because they aren't grouped at all with their parent programs like they were in folders on the old Start menu. Same with those apps "Read Me" files. But if Microsoft put a regular start menu in people would likely jump right into the Desktop and not even bother with Microsoft's Metro at all, continuing to use their PC like they did in Vista/7. That would threaten Microsoft's plan to steer everyone into using their Metro app store and taking a 30% cut, like Apple does on their App Store. There's also a lack of regular menus in Explorer. It's been replaced with the Ribbon interface. Microsoft sees Ribbons as the future: usability or customer preference be damned.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (3, Insightful)

engun (1234934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779493)

Thanks for that clear answer. Sounds pretty bad to me although I think non-technical users might not care, but what interested me most was the bit about the 30% cut with the Metro App Store. All of this serves to highlight why Microsoft shouldn't dominate the tablet space. But my fears that they will, are I I believe, legitimate. Android very badly needs to think of itself as a proper OS, not just a mobile OS running toy applications. It needs to rethink of itself as being able to run serious software - everything from a full fledged word processor, to Photoshop to Crysis.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779717)

Sounds pretty bad to me although I think non-technical users might not care.

The less technical the users are the more they will care. To the people who just don't get computers not having a start button or desktop means they now know just a little more than before they started using windows.
They will hate it because it they will have to figure out the crazy methods (see xkcd comic, cant find it) to do stuff all over again.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (3, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779801)

Thanks for that clear answer. Sounds pretty bad to me although I think non-technical users might not care,

The Metro interface itself needs more work to show it can cut it as a launcher interface, too. In its current incarnation, it's scrolls left and right. You can move it with the scroll wheel on your mouse or drag a scroll bar that appears on the bottom, but it feels like a kludge way to navigate through all your apps. It's like someone up in Redmond suddenly realized "oh yeah, you have to have a touch-screen to swipe! That might be a problem for people who don't (like almost all desktop users)". Besides the "extra files" getting tossed into the interface in separate tiles I mentioned, there's the problem or navigating large collections of apps. On a tablet this isn't so much of an issue because of the more limited storage space on tablets, but on a desktop machines you could find yourself getting a bit weary scrolling through all those tiles to reach something at the other end. A full install of the Adobe CS4 Master Collection adds 25 new tiles to the Metro grid. There needs to be a way of dividing the "Full" Metro launcher view into sub-screens, like you can on iOS when you pull up specific "genres" of apps (or like you had programs and their support files segregated into folders named for the publisher on the old Start menu). Non-tech users will feel this as well once they have a healthy collection of free games from the Metro store or traditional apps from other places installed.

The Metro UI (and the included apps that come with it) are also obviously written under the assumption your screen is 13" or smaller. The Metro apps all run full-screen (and can't be changed to windowed) and their controls are all oversize for a desktop environment (I have a 1920x1200 display -- waste. of. space. ). I hate it when I hit certain links in the Desktop zone (usually in control panels) and for some reason instead of Firefox launching IE is coded to launch instead. And not the Desktop (normal) IE, but the Metro full screen version that whooshes everything else I'm working on out of view. I've also been unable to find a way to actually Exit any of these Metro apps, either. I can click out of them and back to the Launcher, but I cannot stop the process without actually End Tasking them from the Process Manager. They eventually go into a "hibernation"-like state instead if you don't use them. Also amusing: the Process Manager keeps track of network utilization and data usage on a per-app basis (obviously written with tablets and metered 3G data plans in mind).

but what interested me most was the bit about the 30% cut with the Metro App Store.

Correction: It's 20% for above $25,000 in sales [tomshardware.com] . But it is exactly what it appears, Microsoft finding a way to take a cut from application sales revenue on programs they ha nothing to do with writing, just like Apple's store.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779953)

Funny that. Best Buy and Newegg also want a cut for that software they had nothing to do with writing. Complain that Apple offers no other source (for iOS apps), if you like, but complaining about the cut just belies ignorance and/or hate.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779997)

Best Buy and NewEgg have warehouses and (in BB's case) brick and mortar stores to pay for. How does their markup compare to Microsoft's, btw?

The only way to publish Metro apps is going to be through Microsoft's App Store. Developers wont be able to sidestep them and sell direct to consumers (like they can sidestep NE/BB). They can still make regular Desktop Apps, but with making Metro the default UI that could be seen as making your software a "second-class citizen".

Maybe I would have less issue with their terms if they weren't holding an artificial monopoly on distribution, eh?

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779725)

Are you talking about Windows 8 on desktops, or Windows 8 on tablets? On desktops, I agree that the Metro UX would be a disaster if they finally went through w/ it, but for tablets, the UX would be fine. Main issue will be whether such a tablet can run their legacy PC software, since developers ain't preferring Windows 8 to Apple or Android. And if MS insists on promoting tablets w/ ARM, their foray into the tablet market will be a disaster.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779893)

This developer's preview is on a desktop (Core i7 920, 6 GB RAM). I am under the impression there is only going to be ONE "Windows 8", and everyone will run it. I have seen nothing to suggest there are separate versions (except for 32 and 64 bit) or that the one I am using is meant for a tablet device. The Desktop mode is full of "normal" sized UI elements just like Windows 7 that would be hard to control on a small screen. I suppose Microsoft could opt to do their "Home", "Professional", "Ultimate" feature sets again though.

The system requirements for it are surprisingly low:

  • - 1 Ghz or faster 32-bit processor (or higher)
    - 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
    - 16 GB hard disk space for 32-bit, 20 for 64-bit
    - DX9 graphics hardware with a WDDM 1.0 or higher compatible driver
    - Touch-screen required for touch input.

Legacy software isn't going to run on ARM. Only the Metro-complaint apps.
There will be no "Classic" or "Rosetta" for Win8 like there was for OSX's transitions.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779527)

how about that on a basic level, you don't try to have a consistent interface between portable devices and desktops/laptops. That's just a no, and a bad idea.

Granted you can turn off metro, but even approaching this idea in 2011-2012 when it clearly has been demonstrated by the market to be an unconditionally horrible idea and to go ahead with it anyway? Is this really a hard thing to figure out?

Even for "android on laptops" via chromebooks, you don't have them setting it up as the exact same interface all around. That and nobody fn cares about windows 8. They can use android dollars to continually revise the project but if the starting point is the metro UI then they've already got one foot in the grave.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779757)

KDE did the right thing by having completely different designs for desktops vs netbooks (I believe what they call netbooks is basically their interface for tablets). The requirements of the 2 are different, since it's a lot more trivial to land one's finger anywhere on a screen than move a mouse pointer all over it. As a result, they have 2 good interfaces for either platform.

Indeed, the decision to force Metro - which would be fine as a tablet interface - on to the desktop defies any logic, the usability studies notwithstanding. Similarly, the decision to focus Gnome3 & Unity on tablet paradigms when they were both being targeted towards desktops made no sense either.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779543)

"People will want to do everything they did with their desktops, on their tablets. This will include word processing. "

I have an Android phone and even with the tilt full-screen keyboard interface, I find typing a chore even with a stylus pen. Using a keyboard is so much easier. Considering the tablet has a different input interface from a desktop, is a tablet really capable of replacing a desktop? The only way I can see it doing that is when connected with a docking station which makes it a desktop.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779607)

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779783)

Now THAT's an annoying website! Neat product though.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779713)

The above claim - of Windows 8 being able to run legacy Wintel software - will only be true about Windows 8 tablets based on x86, not ARM. Windows 8 on ARM will not run legacy Wintel software any more than Windows NT on Alpha or MIPS ever ran legacy Wintel software, which given the lack of native support, ended up being their undoing. Windows 8 has not been attracting ISVs the way Apple or Google have, and so that platform will depend mainly, if not solely, on support for legacy apps. If Medfield can trump ARM implementations like Apple A5/A6, Qualcomm, nVidia, Freescale, et al in terms of power consumption, Windows 8 may have a chance against Android.

In fact, even if Windows 8 can run legacy Wintel software, I'd think they'd at least need some sort of a rewrite to enable those applications to recognize touchscreen inputs, as opposed to keyboard/mouse inputs that they've been used to until now. There will also be the question of how to do it. Assume that a Windows 8 tablet has 256GB of flash memory, it could be possible to install it from a PC using a USB cable while treating the tablet as another hard drive. But the question of how the application will behave in a new environment is still open - unless the tablet can have USB keyboard & mouse inputs, in which case, why prefer it to a netbook?

MS Word or Office ain't gonna make or break Android - I believe LibreOffice can be installed on it. Moreover, versions of Office since Office 2007 have had those new file formats and ribbons, and are very different to use from previous versions. I worked w/ Excel 2003 very smoothly, doing pivot tables, vlookups and so on, but in subsequent versions, I'm totally lost, even though some of the previous keyboard shortcuts work. Besides, Apple, which depended on MS Office for its desktop offerings, came out w/ their own native tablet apps like Numbers (for spreadsheets), so it's not difficult for Google to do the same, even if they chose not to use LibreOffice as is.

The apps that matter - be it things like home budgeting, games, etc are there on iPad and I think Android as well. The only advantage a Windows 8 would have is if it could run native PC apps, which the other 2 can't. Let's see whether they can or not. But it won't happen if Microsoft insists on going w/ ARM, or Intel tries to run against ARM w/ Android.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

engun (1234934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779873)

You make some interesting points. However, the Win32 API will probably remain the same. As such, it will be a simple matter of recompiling legacy apps for ARM. I don't see the big problem here? Furthermore, enabling touch support for an existing code base is a matter of tweaking the UI layer. You could argue that those apps will not be very user friendly if not designed from the ground up to be touch friendly, but being able to leverage existing code means you're already halfway there.

As for your question of - why prefer it to a netbook? Because a tablet which has a detachable mouse and keyboard makes more sense than a netbook. Would you rather spend money on and lug around 3 or 4 devices, and maintain software on all of them, or have one device which does it all? I'm saying that things will eventually head that way. That's the only way Microsoft can break the tablet market. And in the process of doing so, they will kill the desktop PC/laptop market. Stuff like the Asus Transformer and the Motorola Atrix are a portent of things to come.

As for Word, MS word is the defacto word processing standard, whether we like it or not. 94% of the market is with Office [dailytech.com] . MS word, or extremely good compatibility with it, will be critical to most users. Libre Office compatibility with MS word is very poor. I have tried it, and have experienced it first hand. A piece of software that 94% of people use has every chance to make or break Android.

What I'm saying in summary is, if a user had a chance to buy a Windows 8 Tablet, and run Word on it (and connect mouse/keyboard to it), they'd probably buy that, instead of spending another $500 on an Android tablet on which they can do less.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780043)

You make some interesting points. However, the Win32 API will probably remain the same. As such, it will be a simple matter of recompiling legacy apps for ARM. I don't see the big problem here?

"Simply recompile" was the argument used to show how portable UNIX was across platforms. However, the end user isn't going to recompile (and the vendor isn't going to hand out the source code to let the end user recompile), so the legacy app just won't work.

(Unless they adopt a true hardware abstraction layer like IBM's AS/400, where the app code was recompiled on the fly for the new architecture on first use. But since x86 apps weren't distributed that way, then it won't happen)

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780157)

'Simply recompile' was also a valid argument w/ NT on RISC, but as we all know, vendors never bothered recompiling their apps for those platforms, and neither was most of the source code available. However, MS VC++ did exist for RISC platforms, but no one came. Since developers haven't been flocking to Windows 8, I don't see vendors of existing apps recompile their applications for tablets, and see them go for $1.99. What they might agree to is enable touch support for their generic apps, so that if they are installed on a tablet as opposed to a PC, they'll function at least somewhat as a tablet app.

I think an abstraction layer is out of the question here - it only made sense w/ CPUs that had the firepower, such as FX!32 on the Alpha, but even that didn't save the platform. No, native apps are going to have to be there for the platforms to be successful

On engun's point that MS Office has 94% of marketshare, that's true about desktops, not tablets, where MS Office does not exist - neither on iOS, nor on Android. Yet, that hasn't stopped the acceptance of these platforms, probably b'cos people so far haven't been using tablets to type up documents or spreadsheets or presentations. But Apple is already somewhere there - w/ Numbers and the other 2 apps, so it's a question of Google finding good apps for Android. It doesn't have to be MS Office compatible - it just needs to do what the user needs, work w/ most printers, and it'll be fine. The only thing this lack of compatibility might do is delay the adaption of tablets in the office, as opposed to @ home.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

engun (1234934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780563)

I think there's a fundamental difference in the NT/RISC case with the Win8/ARM case. Which is that ARM devices are actually popular! Therefore, vendors definitely will have incentives to retarget their applications for ARM, assuming that Windows 8 becomes popular on ARM. BeerCat's contention that users need to do this recompilation makes no sense. When did the typical windows user ever compile from source? The vendors will publish x86 and ARM binaries on their websites. I think it's reasonable to conjecture that Microsoft Office will be available for ARM. Others will follow.

So the key question is, will Win 8 become popular on tablets? If the trend of miniaturization continues (and why wouldn't it?), with laptops becoming ultrabooks, and ultrabooks becoming transformers (basically, tablet + dock), then it stands to reason that Windows 8 will be the OS by default, as it is already the defacto PC operating system. As an additional bonus, hardware manufacturers can choose either ARM or x86 for their hardware, which means it'll be Intel that's in trouble, not Microsoft.

I don't know whether Google offering a "good enough" word processor will be enough, as you've suggested. Perhaps it will be, but we should keep in mind that a vast majority of users are heavily invested in Word/Excel documents, and are pretty much locked in. They may also be locked in because of other Apps, like Photoshop, or whatever. If apps don't matter, how can we explain Microsoft's strangle-hold on the OS market? What is Google's strategy for breaking that lock-in?

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780747)

It's not "ARM devices are actually popular", it's "iOS and Android are actually popular". Whole world of difference.

And no, just recompilation to ARM won't magically give you a GUI usable on a finger-based touchscreen.

I mean, did you try to use older desktop Windows based tablets? They were damn awful to use, which is why they flopped in major way.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779769)

...I think Android will end up losing the tablet war. The reason is that windows 8 will be able to leverage its existing base of "software capital", and bulldoze its way into the tablet market. Android simply does not have certain critical software (e.g. - MS Word) running on it.

What's to stop anyone from using all the existing FOSS? Is there something I missed about it being especially difficult to port (e.g.) OpenOffice from Linux to Android? And this is something of a strawman in any case. See below.

Think of it this way. The mass market desktop pc will die. For the vast majority of users, a simple tablet like device, with word processing capabilities, and media/internet capabilities, is all that's needed. Bulky laptops will disappear too, turning into tablets with Asus "transformer" like capabilities. Eventually, a multitude of device will be consolidated into one single tablet device - a single personal computer. People will want to do everything they did with their desktops, on their tablets. This will include word processing.

Hello there. I'm a writer. Writing is what I do. I do it 8-10 hours a day. I am going to do it with a separate, horizontal, *physical* keyboard and a vertical monitor. I am NOT going to do it using a virtual keyboard on the same 10" touchscreen I'm trying to read my work on. Ain't gonna happen.

Sure, you can modularise it--I can see having a tablet that one could drop into a dock/stand/whatever with a keyboard (and possibly a larger monitor and other peripherals)--but at the end of the day, see above: for any serious work involving manual entry of complex, nonrepeating alphanumeric data, you're still looking at a laptop/desktop configuration of some sort.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

engun (1234934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779963)

See my reply to the previous poster. [slashdot.org] In summary: 94% of word processor use is MS Office. And nowhere have I said that a keyboard/mouse is not needed. But what's to prevent you from hooking your future tablet to a 30" monitor and a keyboard?

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779391)

People are buying the Galaxy Tab?

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779459)

People are buying the Galaxy Tab?

Now that there is a CA$100 price drop [appleinsider.com] someone might.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (2)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779443)

Why is everyone so down in Intel? More competition is good for us, the consumer! Although software is very important so in hardware, no one wants a tablet that needs to be recharged every 2 hours.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779489)

I'm a big fan, and would consider the Intel Android tablet - but not a Windows one. But it has to have the right mix of features and be a good value and be competitive with the field on the date of purchase. The WiDi tech looks really sweet, and a HDMI WiDi dongle to use in my TV, monitor, or conference room bigscreen might put it over for me.

Can't wait to give this a try if they can get someone to make it. But that's going to be their biggest problem. PC vendors aren't going to touch Android on Intel. That leaves the current batch of Android on ARM vendors - and they're quite happy with what they've got already to work with.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (4, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779919)

Not only PC vendors, but even most Android manufacturers ain't gonna prefer Intel to ARM, unless Intel can demonstrate lower power consumption AND greater performance @ the same time. And they'll have no reason to - all the apps already there for Android are Android on ARM. Plus you have a rich ecosystem of ARM manufacturers - Qualcomm, Freescale, TI, et al.

If you're not going to consider a Wintel tablet, there is really no reason to look @ Intel. The only thing Intel brings to the table is w/ Windows 8, where there is at least the theoretical possibility of running legacy software on it.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (4, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779625)

The mantra for the future should be "It's not the hardware or the OS, it is the content stupid". If you can create a device that enables the end user to easily access content of their choosing then you are on a winner. The issue has always been ticking all the boxes, apple was the first to do so and android soon followed. So yes Intel is dead on the money, the hardware is a minor player but at the same time important as it is one of the many tick boxes that must be implemented correctly.

Re:Yes it's totally software, but (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779677)

People don't give a shit what powers it as long as it works. Anyways, Intel's problem actually isn't ARM, it's that they're also being joined by MIPS, and MIPS is a cheaper architecture and has better power credentials. Price and functionality matter, and whoever can deliver that at a sweetspot will be successful.

Also dependent on battery usage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779297)

And Intel, you seem to have fallen for your own trickery of putting most of the stuff into the northbridge, so the CPU looks all efficient.
But that won't work, when in the end, a full ARM *system* still is 10 times more efficient than the best you can offer.
The ugliness of your machine language doesn't help things either.
And your anti-competitive behavior is another reason to avoid you, from a tablet manufacturer standpoint.

But what am I talking here... tablets have no point, other than being an e-penis, anyway. Same as SUVs. They are expensive, impractical, slow, and basically all the bad things in one, and the best in none. ^^
In the long run, they will be replaced by mobile phones. Or from my p.o.v., they never found a place that a real computer or a proper smart phone (one at least offering what S60 offered 10 years ago, like a file manager, communications tools, media playback, Internet surfing, install whatever you like, 3d and video acceleration, big display, full-featured hardware) hadn't already taken.

Re:Also dependent on battery usage (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779413)

But what am I talking here... tablets have no point, other than being an e-penis, anyway. Same as SUVs. They are expensive, impractical, slow, and basically all the bad things in one, and the best in none. ^^
In the long run, they will be replaced by mobile phones. Or from my p.o.v., they never found a place that a real computer or a proper smart phone (one at least offering what S60 offered 10 years ago, like a file manager, communications tools, media playback, Internet surfing, install whatever you like, 3d and video acceleration, big display, full-featured hardware) hadn't already taken.

You're entitled to your opinion, but I think trying to read in bed with my mobile or my laptop is kinda sucky, and I think a tablet might work much better for this. I don't see it replacing either of them anytime soon, but that doesn't mean it's not a good form factor for some use cases.

Re:Also dependent on battery usage (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779461)

so, I should shell out between $500 and $830 to read in bed?
It's going to need to replace more than a paper back book to separate me from a whole paycheck.
I mean, my phone doesn't do that either but I think you need to come better than "reading in bed"

Re:Also dependent on battery usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779501)

I find it useful to read stuff, watch videos during my commute. And no one here is trying to sell you anything. If you dont think you would find a tablet useful, good for you!

Re:Also dependent on battery usage (2)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779685)

so, I should shell out between $500 and $830 to read in bed? It's going to need to replace more than a paper back book to separate me from a whole paycheck. I mean, my phone doesn't do that either but I think you need to come better than "reading in bed"

You can get kindle fire for about USD200 [amazon.com] . And yes, for book reading on your bed, it's overkill. So, aside for reading sci-fi novel in bed, I use my Archos 70IT to browse, read books, newspaper, comics, mangas, watching videos, ssh-ing to my NAS box at home, etc etc on my 4 hours daily commute

Re:Also dependent on battery usage (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780623)

so, I should shell out between $500 and $830 to read in bed? It's going to need to replace more than a paper back book to separate me from a whole paycheck. I mean, my phone doesn't do that either but I think you need to come better than "reading in bed"

You can get kindle fire for about USD200 [amazon.com] . And yes, for book reading on your bed, it's overkill. So, aside for reading sci-fi novel in bed, I use my Archos 70IT to browse, read books, newspaper, comics, mangas, watching videos, ssh-ing to my NAS box at home, etc etc on my 4 hours daily commute

Also he presented it as a use case, not a target function for the device. I like to use a tablet in the Kitchen for recipes, and to watch the news.

Re:Also dependent on battery usage (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779793)

I think trying to read in bed with my mobile or my laptop is kinda sucky, and I think a tablet might work much better for this.

It won't... Tablets are too damn heavy and that starts weighing on you very quickly. Plus, there's no way to hold them one-handed... through pure chance, phones are just the right size where wrapping your hand around them makes a great "handle". Tablets need some new technology that'll allow an easy one-hand grip. Maybe that'll be straps, or finger holes, or some gel backing material, but right now tablets have horrible ergonomics, and your smartphone is indeed the best possible method for reading in bed right now.

Medfield (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779333)

Intel won't succeed with its first iteration but it will slow down ARM a bit in an overall growing market, Intel might even take the low to mid of the market and leave the high end to ARM for now as Medfield is only competitive with ARM processors from a year ago. Both ARM and Intel will gain marketshare and eventually the market might become split between them, I don't foresee a 3rd player, maybe MIPS in the form of the Chinese-derivative Loongson?

Re:Medfield (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779365)

What? Intel has been announcing they are just about to release a mobile chip for phones for at least 5 years. And the chip will totally dominate and kick ARM to the curb. And with Apple's recent reorganization of the computer hardware industry with the iPad, they're complete failure to actually release such a chip just hurts more.

Finally, both Intel and MS deciding that they mustn't hurt their margins entering this new market means their less functional, more power-hungry systems will still cost more than existing Android/ARM and iOS devices.

Yup, it's a recipe for success!

Re:Medfield (3, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779943)

Problem for both Intel & Microsoft is that software for PCs are still pretty pricey, while software for tablets is really cheap, thanks to the repository stores. People who would mull over whether to spend $30 on a game would have no hesitation spending $1.99 or even $4.99 on it. Since the tablets have such inexpensive software, people can get a whole bunch of them, and Wintel can't have as many to offer there. So their trump card would be to offer Windows 8 tablets based on Medfield, and hope that it sticks. That's the only thing I can imagine bailing out Windows 8 from a fiasco in the tablet marketplace.

Tablets ain't gonna replace office laptops or servers, so there, both Intel & Microsoft are safe. But as far as home usage goes, tablets - particularly once they go head to head w/ PCs in price - will be seen as more and more attractive. As it is, the elimination of VGA and DVI from monitors is going to make a lot of monitors outdated, even though they are functioning just fine, while there will be so many affordable software titles available that at least on the home front, it has a good chance of heavily eroding the home PC business.

Re:Medfield (5, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779591)

maybe MIPS in the form of the Chinese-derivative Loongson?

That's already happening, and they're selling like hotcakes. http://www.mobilemag.com/2012/01/12/79-ainol-novo-7-paladin-tablet-does-ice-cream-sandwich/ [mobilemag.com]

The problem for Intel is the price of these SoCs:

  • $5 TI ARM Cortex A8, 500mhz,
  • $7 Ingenic jz4770 1ghz MIPS with a Vivante GC600 3D GPU
  • $7 Allwinner A10, 1.5ghz ARM Cortex A8 with a MALI400 GPU
  • $75 Intel Atom Z670 Oak Trail 1.50GHz GMA 600 GPU

http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/ [rhombus-tech.net]

They may not be as capable as the Atom, but they're good enough to make very usable tablets at 1/10th the price.

Re:Medfield (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779687)

Intel won't succeed with its first iteration

Based on what? This isn't Microsoft software.

You do realize that "its first iteration" has come and gone already, right? This is "Mk 2", anyway. They wet their toe with the Atom, which was massively, massively successful, being used in everything from netbooks to desktops and even low-end servers (it is, by far, the most common CPU in my house right now: a low-end pfsense machine, a Logitech Revue, an Asus Eee, and a file server).

This thing is going to be pure Evil to ARM, particularly if it can handle things like different radio versions better than ARM does (via UEFI, maybe). If it does that, it's going to completely explode in the XDA/homebrew segment, and geeks everywhere will adore it (likely running Windows XP on it at some point, Because They Can).

Re:Medfield (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779855)

> They wet their toe with the Atom, which was massively, massively successful, being used in everything from netbooks to desktops and even low-end servers

Well, your list is exactly the problem. The Atom massively ate into their medium to high-margin market while doing little to push against ARM.
Winning or not, it seems likely that this competition is going to cost Intel obscene loads of money whereas so far it seems likely it will allow ARM to get more income (due to people pushing for more powerful ARM processors which increase income more than sales lost to Intel), at least for the moment.
Though unless one clearly eliminates the other (unlikely, Intel is too huge a business, while ARM almost certainly doesn't have to fear anything from Intel in the microcontroller area) I think consumers can only win from this.

Not so fast Intel... (1, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779397)

Otellini thinks the tablet market will get much more competitive over the next year as ICS devices mature and Windows 8 devices arrive.

Intel should know that from last year, there's not been a tallet market save for an Ipad market [internet2go.net] . I do not think matters will change until Google and its partners tame the chaos within the Android ecosystem.

You ask your self: Why has a hugely successful company like Samsung released a [very compelling] Galaxy Note tablet based on already outdated software? Promising an update does not cut it either. It only showcases the chaos within the ecosystem, giving trolls fodder to feed on. Sad.

Re:Not so fast Intel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38779569)

Good move with the second paragraph. It should stave off accusations that you are bonch.

Re:Not so fast Intel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780097)

The article you linked is from six months ago. You realize that Apple now is almost down to a 50% market share in tablets, right? The same thing that happened with phones is happening with tablets - Apple got an early lead, but that lead is getting eroded very quickly.

That "chaos" in Android should really be referred to as "flexibility", and is one of the main causes of its extraordinary success.

Re:Not so fast Intel... (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780403)

You realize that Apple now is almost down to a 50% market share in tablets, right?

Would you be so kind to provide a source for that? The most recent numbers I could find are in the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] , where it's 88% worldwide and 95.5% in the US, from November 21, 2011.

Re:Not so fast Intel... (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780451)

You realize that Apple now is almost down to a 50% market share in tablets, right?

Ok, I think I found what you were referring to: it's 61% of all sales in Q3 2011 [guardian.co.uk] . However, remember that the iPad2 will soon be replaced by an updated model, which will boost the sales market share. Same thing happened with the iPhone 4S.

Bad Move! (2)

cffrost (885375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779399)

Bad move, Intel. I used to rely on an ice cream sandwich. Then Häagen-Dazs stopped making 'em and everything else in my life went to complete shit for about three months. Take it from someone who's been down that road: if you're going to rely on ice cream sandwich, do not commit unless you have control of the supply chain.

Intel and computational efficiency (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779509)

Intel lost a lot of time with high end processors for desktop and servers thinking it was the most profitable market. It seems more profitable market, or at least markets that be considered as part of core strategu, are in mobile devices where computational efficiency is a must ( energy consumption per computation) Computational efficiency is not only relevant in mobile devices but also in server farms where hundreds if not thousands of CPU are running in parallel.

Re:Intel and computational efficiency (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780573)

It is a more profitable market for the simple reason that there are very few players, and you typically don't have much price wars here as you do for lower end processors. Intel makes its money on Xeon and i7, and AMD on Opteron and Duron. But at the lower end, w/ atoms, and particularly on tablets, where x86 compatibility is not essential, there is so much price competition that the only reason to be in that market is to sell more units and increase the top line, at the expense of the bottom line. There is of course a limit to which that game can be played, and so I don't blame Intel for focussing on their server & workstation CPUs.

Atom? (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779593)

Yeah, it's a good chip. In performance-per-watt, it'll outdo any other Intel chip with ease. By x86 standards it sips power, even if you include the northbridge. But that is by x86 standards... by ARM, it just can't compete. If Intel really want to succeed in mobile, they'll need to take a big risk: Abandon the thirty-year heritage and backwards compatibility of x86/64.

Re:Atom? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779961)

If Intel does that, there was never a reason to abandon ARM, or sell XScale to Marvell. What can they do - change the Itanium product strategy (since it's failed on servers) and come out w/ energy efficient CPUs based on the Itanium instruction set? It'll abandon the 30 year old heritage and backwards compatibility all right, but what guarantee is there that it will be successful?

Maybe they could try doing a VLIW or EPIC version of ARM?

Re:Atom? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780163)

None. They'll be in a market where they no longer have the technological edge, where their engineers are inexperienced, and where they lack established business contacts. ARM's designs are very well established in the field now, with many manufacturers commited to using chips based on them. It doesn't matter what Intel does, they aren't getting in easily. Unless they can invent some new super-SoC that is far ahead of anything ARM has come up with, they are just at a serious disadvantage... and they aren't going to have any hope of achieving that type of technological leap with x86.

Re:Atom? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780525)

Packaging techniques, and solutions, are another game altogether, and one anybody can play. You have companies like Tessera, which are pioneers in this field, and either Intel, ARM or any of the other vendors can come up w/ solutions like PoP, or other techniques that would enable tighter integration into smaller form factors. x86 itself is not a roadblock to that, but there ain't much that can be done to reduce what goes into an x86 CPU, as opposed to most others. But you are right - ARM is pretty much well established now, and has a rich ecosystem of solution providers that will give the tablet makers whatever they want. From Intel's POV, they had some tough choices - sell XScale and lose whatever presense they had in the ARM market, or retain it, w/ its main selling point being its integration w/ their StrataFlash, which was a money loser.

Maybe Intel is best off not playing in this market at all, and making just high end (i.e. high margin) CPUs. Only problem is that their top line will take a beating, but that's something that's likely to happen anyway, I don't see too many market segments that are as large as PCs where they can play, and still retain either their margins, or their volumes. Maybe morph into a foundry company like TSMC or UMC.

good choice (1)

blitzlee2012 (2558305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779667)

ice cream sandwich is yummy for tablets and i would prefer ICS tablets than iPad :D

Windows 8 (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779671)

Actually, the best platform for Intel's Tablet push would be Microsoft's Windows 8 - it could do some minimal salvage of both Intel & Microsoft in the tablet market by offering a key advantage not there in iOS or Android - Windows compatibility. Windows 8 for ARM ain't gonna run those gazillion Windows apps out there, but Windows 8 on an Medfield may, and that would be the main selling point of Wintel tablets.

Otherwise, concede that the tablet market is an ARM monopoly (unless anyone comes out w/ MIPS based Androids) and an Apple/Google duopoly.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780177)

Monopoly? What the hell are you talking about. A monopoly doesn't just consist of a large market share. There is a lot more to it than that. People who do not know the meaning of the word need to stop constantly throwing it around.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780417)

Okay, so which other CPU has any noticable presence in the tablet market? x86? MIPS? Power? Yeah, there are different companies that have licensed the architecture and are making different implementations of the CPU, be it TI, Qualcomm, Freescale, Apple, nVidia, et al but at the end of the day, the market is an ARM market, and not anything else.

Same w/ the comment about Apple/Google - they pretty much have the bulk of the market. Others, like RIM, HP, Microsoft are asterisk players in this market

Hi (0)

bhargavreddys (2558327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779785)

Good info

Very bad choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780121)

Google has a reputation of backstabbing vendors left and right (ask Dell or Juniper) and is better not to do business with them at all. I don't understand why Intel doesn't dedicate resources to Meego/Tizen and frees themselves from Andy "hypocrite" Rubin and the other Google assholes.

--
Jordyn Buchanan, clueless shithead of the day.

Intel to Rely on ICS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780175)

You gotta be kidding.
This statement was probably taken out of its original context and I would bet it was "Intel will rely on ICS for Android tablets".
In fact, this whole thing is so bold, it does not really deserve commenting on it. ICS, really. Pitty.

The hardware is not important? (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780605)

How weard is it for somebody to claim that the hardware it not important, the important thing is the software, and go on talking on how they'll create a product with the same software everybody else uses.

Yeah, the hardware is not important... I'll belive it when you stop using Android.

Tsubgirl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780759)

we need to address Baby tak3 my fucking percent of = 1400 NetBSD our chances nearly twoA years

mod d0wn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38780799)

ltocating #GNAA, [goat.cx]
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