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AMD's Hondo Chip 'A Windows 8 Product'

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the riding-a-new-horse dept.

AMD 229

dgharmon points out comments from AMD's Steve Belt, who was asked about the company's upcoming Hondo APU. Hondo is their biggest attempt to date to break into the tablet market, and they're doing so with a distinct focus on Windows 8. Belt said, "This is a Windows 8 product, only. We're not doing Android on this platform, at least not now. ... It is a conscious decision not to go after Android. We think the Windows 8 space has a lot of opportunity, there's plenty of TAM [total addressable market] there for us to go at. So we don't need to spread ourselves into other markets, we think Windows 8 is a great place to start. Down the road we may look at Android, right now we're focused on Windows 8." The article adds, "With both AMD and Intel readying Hondo and Clover Trail respectively for Windows 8 and pushing their respective customers to come up with designs at roughly the same time, it will be interesting to see just how many Windows RT tablets will appear at the operating system's launch. However one thing is clear, neither AMD nor Intel will have Android x86 tablets running with their respective next generation ultra low voltage chips." Fortunately, there's nothing stopping users and manufacturers from running other OSes on Hondo.

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Windows 8 (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41348989)

I think Windows 8 is shaping up to be like Vista: An attempt to coerce consumers into buying into a walled garden. PC hardware and software manufacturers have been looking jealously at Apple's profit margin and smacking their lips, wondering how to lock in their own slice of the pie. Vista had a bunch of DRM and other features that were friendly to manufacturers but bad for consumers. I am not convinced Microsoft is even trying to make Windows 8 successful -- I think they know it's going to fail, but they're using it to set the stage for its successor, which will do away with many, but not all, of the bad features of Windows 8.

It's a marketing ploy commonly used elsewhere, but not on such a broad scale. It's like this:
Would you buy this memory card for $100?
Hell no!
Well, how about $30?
Oh, well, that sounds more reasonable.
...It only cost $5 to produce and distribute. It's a negotiating tactic -- you shock them first, then back off to appear more reasonable, but still wind up bilking them for more than they'd pay straight across. It's psychology. I think Windows 8 and it's peripheral products -- like this one, are about psychology. It's conditioning the consumer to accept vendor lock-in. Windows 8 is being thrown under a bus so Windows 9 can be shoved down your throat.

Re:Windows 8 (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41349003)

Vista had a bunch of DRM and other features that were friendly to manufacturers but bad for consumers.

In order to judge the relevance of this statement to the rest of your point, I need your answer to the following question: Which of these manufacturer-friendly features of Windows Vista were eliminated from Windows 7?

Re:Windows 8 (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41349129)

Vista had a bunch of DRM and other features that were friendly to manufacturers but bad for consumers.

In order to judge the relevance of this statement to the rest of your point, I need your answer to the following question: Which of these manufacturer-friendly features of Windows Vista were eliminated from Windows 7?

And of course the answer is none, actually they introduced more. But their were plenty of irrational articles claiming it was the anti-Christ, and plenty of the non techy crowd like the person your responding to believed all the FUD, Vista sucked, but that had more to do with poor driver support early on and the damned UAC prompted, Win 7 removed those 2 problems and suddenly everything is wonderful.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#41349931)

Win 7 removed those 2 problems and suddenly everything is wonderful.

Your assertion implies that if I were to run Vista today with well-supported drivers and UAC disabled then it would suck no more than Windows 7. Sorry, but that isn't true by a long shot. Have you touched Vista in the last two or three years? I assure you, it still sucks--decidedly more than Windows 7.

Re:Windows 8 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41350085)

No it doesn't, at least not any more than Win7. Vista was perfectly serviceable once SP1 hit and hardware manufacturers had updated their drivers.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41349141)

Which of these manufacturer-friendly features of Windows Vista were eliminated from Windows 7?

You mean these [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Windows 8 (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about 2 years ago | (#41349287)

This of those are "DRM and other features that were friendly to manufacturers" ?
I scanned the list, and saw a few that might qualify, but I had to stretch.
Your initial assertion that Vista was somehow Microsoft's foray into a walled garden and represented an exploratoy policy which was abandoned in Win7 but will come back in Win8 is nonsense and not supported by the evidence that you have provided.

Re:Windows 8 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349055)

is this the flip side of the pro-MS first post troll?

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349065)

I don't know why, but many people have this alternate history of Windows Vista in their minds. It had its problems and was denigrated by many of the tech savvy, but at the end of the day the sales are what they are; it succeed in the market. Granted that is mostly due to shipping on new computers, but that's exactly how most people will get Windows 8 and so Windows 8 will also ultimately be a success. The problem with your analysis is that you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. The average Windows user is more-or-less computer illiterate; they will welcome the dumbing down of Windows into iOS with open arms. You and I may not like it, but in the end we're in the minority.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349309)

Microsoft did some trick accounting to achieve those sales numbers. When Vista started flopping in the market Microsoft gave users and OEMs "downgrade rights" so they could use XP instead of Visturd. Microsoft still counted the sales as Vista sales to their shareholders.

Compare Vista marketshare with 7 market share and XP marketshare if you don't believe that Vista was, in fact, a total flop.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349449)

So when you're unhappy with something being repeatedly dumbed down for the masses, just cop to 'smile while you eat your shit' corporate doublespeak to make yourself feel better?

Lots of something being shovelware'd out on machines is not necessarily success from a consumer perspective, especially when a monopoly is involved. I don't get how you expect the consumer your message replies to, to accept this dumbing down a success when she is not getting what she wants. As a consumer, why do you expect her to give a shit about how much money the marketing dept droids supposedly made the company because they catered to mouth breathers? If she's unhappy with the value she extracted from her purchase, the company failed with this particular consumer. Vista was a steaming pile, and 7 is marginally less so, but both suffer from excess dumbing down of the interface, making it all but useless except for the most basic tasks. Windows 8 takes this to whole new levels of 'get a brain' 'moran'icy. IOS is already there. OSX is getting there. Android+Gnome 3 are on their way to taking linux there. Her analysis about this trend is spot on.

Re:Windows 8 (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41349617)

Vista didn't "succeed in the market". It was the next iteration of a monopoly that dates back to DOS. They only thing it needed to do in order to "succeed" was just show up. Except it didn't quite work that way. No. Vista managed to fail despite of it's market advantages. People and companies avoided it in droves. Hardware vendors offered downgrades to XP.

A monpoly product is a failure when people actively avoid it for the previous version.

They couldn't even force feed Vista to people.

Vista was responsible for XP continuing to linger on until the next version of Windows was released.

I just take it as their reaction to Apple. (5, Insightful)

goldcd (587052) | about 2 years ago | (#41349079)

Microsoft went open (Shh, let me make my point), Apple went walled-garden, app-stores and didn't take kindly to the replacement of their apps, hardware components etc with others - basically decided they knew best and this would ultimately benefit their users.
So, two different approaches to the market - and Apple have come romping home the winner.
MS switches to the Apple approach - but I'm just not quite sure it's going to work. IF I personally wanted this experience, I'd be typing this on an Ipad already. If MS think they can out-apple, apple - then good luck to them, but I just don't see it happening (whilst I can see myself getting quite pissed off and giving Linux another punt).

Re:Windows 8 (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349307)

.. why was this modded down? This is exactly right. The whole industry is pushing right now to get the consumer used to locked in walled garden products. From consoles for games, to closed/half-closed operating systems for cellphones and tablets, to desktop operating systems that dumb down commodity pcs and tie them to services in the same way.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349643)

Because it's bullshit. Vista may have introduced some capabilities to playback DRMd content, but it certainly didn't take anything away. You could still do everything you could do in previous versions of Windows. With Windows 8, Microsoft may provide a means to buy through their own store, but they aren't going to close it off. You will still be able to choose and buy software just as always and any kind of Windows 8 store will be in addition to that.

Re:Windows 8 (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349667)

You are a fool to ignore the trend here, in windows, in microsoft's other product lines, and in the market at large. Things ARE being moved into position, bit by bit to lock the open general purpose desktop down, or at least make it mostly irrelevant.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349721)

And you're a fool for jumping to conclusions. Microsoft's history does not agree with you and you have absolutely no evidence to backup your assertion.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349839)

If you expect others provide 'evidence' you should've started with some of your own. What history are we talking about exactly? Recent? Like the full screen start menu spammed with tablet style apps? The dumbing down of the desktop even from vista/7 standards? Hotmail being the default authentication for user login? It's obvious they're pushing users to get used to the services-based tablet/phone model. The evidence is right in front of you. Beyond the scope of microsoft, there's even more evidence for this push..

You attacked a strawman with your statements about DRM and the like. You should take your own advice about jumping to conclusions too.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349861)

It's clear that you're just an anti-Microsoft fanboy. Microsoft has never done anything to prevent people from creating and publishing software for their operating systems. Until they do, you are full of hot air.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349959)

Yeah that must be it. You figured me out.

I'm not a fanboy of anything. App stores qualify as limiting 'creation and publishing' of software for their operating systems as they allow the vendor to act as arbiter for what is acceptable functionality. Yes, for now, the desktop, however more neutered it has become in windows 8, still exists, but considering what has happened to it starting with vista, it's obvious that microsoft would like it to be EOL'd at some point in the next decade. This trend is mimicked in their competitors as well. It IS there, no matter how far you shove your head up your ass..

Re:Windows 8 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349455)

I think this is a little naive. No company would intentionally engineer a failure of a product. That's not what Microsoft has ever done. Rather Microsoft has been releasing service packs as new operating systems.

Windows 1.0 flop
Windows 2.xx flop
Windows 3.0 flop
Windows 3.1 success
Windows 3.11 flop
Windows NT 3.51 flop
Windows NT 4 success (Note several service packs)
Windows NT 5 (Windows 2000) flop
Windows NT 5.1 (XP) success (Note several service packs)
Windows NT 6.0 (Vista) flop
Windows NT 6.1 (Windows 7) success

Also the 95 eras...
Windows 4.0 (95) success
95 OSR1, OSR2, OSR2.5 OEM versions were better
Windows 98 flop (MSIE integration)
Windows 98SE success
Windows 4.9 (ME) flop

It may look like every second version is a flop, but that's not what's going on here.
Windows 2000 lacked compatibility with DOS and Windows 3.x and Windows 9x games
Windows Vista lacked compatibility with software unaware of UAC, changed the driver models, first OS that multicore works out of the box, first 64bit version available at retail, etc

A lot of complaints about Vista are the same complaints leveled at 2000, 95 and 3.0, that some compatibility was broken. But Microsoft has completely done away with this game with Windows 8 and went "You write it for the managed C runtimes using Metro interface or you don't play at all", The last time this happened was with Windows 95. Yes applications for Windows 3.1 could be installed on Windows 95, but the Windows 3.1 program and file managers were still available if you migrated. Those applications will NOT install onto a 64bit windows no matter what.

A Windows 8 slate/tablet/whateverthehellitwillbe... is not going to succeed because it doesn't run iOS apps. It's also not going to run x86 Windows 7 apps either. Apple leveraged their existing iPhone developer base to bring out the iPad, but when the iPhone originally was released, people were predicting it would fail. You want to know why that is? It's because the entire interface was different. Microsoft is in effect copying this change in interface (not the interface itself) and if it succeeds, you can kiss away the Windows and Mac PC land as all consumer devices will be come walled gardens, and the only people who still have a full sized PC will be the same people who 30 years ago had a minicomputer or a type writer. Us old-people.

But all is not lost. Content production will still require a Mac or PC, as storage has not yet caught up. We're maxing out at 64GB for a tablet device, because it's simply not possible to put any more NAND flash in a device, if it's made any smaller, it wears out faster. Memistors and other next generation solid-state memory is close to production so this might just be a temporary plateau in storage sizes while the next stuff is mass produced.

Camera devices haven't been completely eliminated by camera phones, because the DSLR people won't let go of their super-sized lenses. But all the point-and-shoots, no more need for those. You only need a separate camera now if you're a Pro video/photographer.

What about android? Will since Oracle had it's ass kicked, that leads to some promise, but I think Android's days are numbered unless some kind of "One Android" standard is created. Remember back in the days of "IBM PC compatible" ? This is what we're facing. A pile of devices that are not compatible because they don't run the same CPU let alone any other piece of hardware. It would make sense, for Google to dump the current naming system in favor of something more straight forward, eg Android 4, Android 5. And the Android markets need to get a hardware profile from the device before sending it a version that works on that device configuration or tell the user that they must update to the latest version (and where to get it) before downloading. Anyone who was using a PC back in 1986 can tell you how much of a pain in the ass it was to configure DOS until Windows 98 came along and all games started being made for DirectX. The only stuff that worked out of the box were self-booting games from around the Dos 3 era.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41349611)

Windows 2000 was a flop? Are you for serious? It had 4 service packs, and was widely deployed, and was TBQH an awesome OS. NT was a bag of crap in comparison.

Re:Windows 8 (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349701)

Agreed. Win2k was probably the best windows OS to date. WinXP added better USB and power management support and some other niceties but really it was Win2k+.

Re:Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349999)

Windows 2000 lacked compatibility with DOS and Windows 3.x and Windows 9x games
Windows Vista lacked compatibility with software unaware of UAC, changed the driver models, first OS that multicore works out of the box, first 64bit version available at retail, etc

Are you on crack?

Win2K was targeted to workstations and servers, not business or especially home desktops. So compatibility with games for DOS and DOS-based Windows versions couldn't make it a flop for its target market (where, as a sibling points out, it was quite successful).

And of course, I ran NT 3.51 with full SMP on a dual PII-266 box back when that was a hot rig, so IDK what you're on about when you say "first OS that multicore works out of the box".

Re:Windows 8 (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 2 years ago | (#41349901)

>Vista: An attempt to coerce consumers into buying into a walled garden

How? Can you elaborate how enabling playing bluray for the fraction of people who wanted to play their discs somehow is an attempt to coerce consumers into a walled garden?

Re:Windows 8 - A prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349903)

Microsoft, by abandoning their core business, will alienate people so much, (Windows 8 for PC is essentially abandoning PCs - it's that lousy), Windows 8 will have a cache worse than Vista enjoyed at the height of it's popularity. This negative atmosphere will carry over to Windows 8 powered cell phones, and tablets. It won't matter if they are any good or not. Windows 8 will have such negative karma, that you'll hear comments like "You got a Windows phone? Ha ha ha". Windows 8 cell phone and tablet manufacturers will be take a big, expensive hit.
(And no, I'm no fan of Apple, and I don't have an android phone. Just making a business prediction.)

First Intel, now AMD? (5, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#41348993)

What's with all these new CPUs being labeled for "Windows 8 only?" First it was the new Intel processor, now AMD. Does Microsoft have some new ridiculous "partnership" strategy going on that we need to be aware of?

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#41349057)

Three things.

First: Reduced performance for significantly lower power consumption. There's no top range Ivy brige CPU right now (extreme edition) because the Sandy bridge are fast enough for that problem.

The second issue is going to be less CPU and more motherboard, UEFI specifically. While supported on 64 bit vista and Windows server 2008 and later you need a legacy mode for windows XP, it's 64 bit only and a few other inconveniences for windows 7 and up.

Third: The GPU (APU in AMD speak) is in the same IC as the CPU. You see that in laptops today, but it's all part of having a GPU accelerated operating system - 'designed for' as in it will definitely do that, you can do that on some systems today, but you'll definitely be able to do it on the new stuff.

Obviously it's marketing waffle - but there's nothing wrong with trying to sell products to consumers, talking about support for full SATA III SSD support, UEFI and GPU acceleration isn't really a good public branding strategy.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349525)

Linux can run without an IA32 layer on x86_64 and both amd and intel have long histories of supporting linux with drivers for their gpus and power management. Having a 'gpu accelerated operating system' doesn't require an on-die gpu..at least in the sense of having a gpu accelerated GUI. Even if alternate concepts of the former would be beneficial, there is nothing intrinsic about windows 8 that requires GPU-like, crazy-scale SIMD instructions within the cpu.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#41349975)

It does do 'gpu accelerated' desktop though, and that requires a GPU that supports the functions you're calling.

Again, it's not like these things can't exist now, it's just hard to convey that.

The on chip CPU thing is a combination of power and definitely getting a GPU part that isn't soul crushingly horrible, and will actually support the DX11 directcompute stuff that windows 8 uses to speed things up.

there is nothing intrinsic about windows 8 that requires GPU-like, crazy-scale SIMD instructions within the cpu.

Depends what you mean by intrinsic. Windows 8 can use GPU acceleration on just about everything (which is odd terminology, aren't most 3d games by definition gpu accelerated? Well sure, but that technology hasn't really filtered into the windowing system in Windows and things like MS office).

Unfortunately the term 'gpu accelerated' is a bit vague, since anything on your screen is through the GPU it's inherently unclear. The way I would describe it is a matter of executing the code on the GPU rather than using any sort of fixed function, and the trick is making sure your GPU can support whatever instructions you're going to support.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41350047)

So far, non graphics stuff on gpus only has a few niche areas (embarassingly parallel math like crypto or physics mainly). These tasks are only worth doing on mid to high end gpus, so doing them on these combo chips targeted at tablets and the like will not produce interesting results. Afaik, There is nothing in windows 8 that makes integrated gpu elements necessary on desktop or tablet hardware, so what's the big deal? Directcompute is already available on x86 and has been for quite some time.

Even if these chips have exclusive functionality others lack, what features does windows 8 enable with them and how do these features break otherOS? None that I can think of. This is why the whole 'windows 8' mantra from intel and amd over these chips is suspect at best.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (4, Insightful)

MtHuurne (602934) | about 2 years ago | (#41349061)

That would be my guess as well. Usually, companies say something along the lines of "we have no immediate plans for Linux support" if they're going to focus on a different OS. To rule out future support in advance in such firm words suggests there is some sort of exclusivity bonus.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (1)

caywen (942955) | about 2 years ago | (#41349063)

Is this another case of don't hate the player, hate the game?

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#41349075)

What's with all these new CPUs being labeled for "Windows 8 only?" First it was the new Intel processor, now AMD. Does Microsoft have some new ridiculous "partnership" strategy going on that we need to be aware of?

The simplest explanation -- that Microsoft is handing over bags of cash to get this Windows 8 exclusivity -- both fits the facts and Microsoft's past behavior. So I'd say, yes.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#41349411)

The simplest explanation -- that Microsoft is handing over bags of cash to get this Windows 8 exclusivity -- both fits the facts and Microsoft's past behavior. So I'd say, yes.

Yup. It's nice to see Microsoft returning to their roots and playing to their strengths. This is the Microsoft we all remember, and the reason for the BorgBill icon on this site. Don't know what else to do? Buy exclusive hardware. Microsoft has no idea how to compete with Apple and Google on this new turf, so they're doing what they do best. Bags of cash. It was a winning strategy for two decades. How could it miss?

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#41349437)

The simplest explanation -- that Microsoft is handing over bags of cash to get this Windows 8 exclusivity -- both fits the facts and Microsoft's past behavior. So I'd say, yes.

This is actually quite a clever strategy by Microsoft. Allow UEFI secure boot to boot other operating systems on x86 systems, then get the processor manufacturers to make it impossible to make a useful(*) port of any other operating systems to new x86 processors.

* Yes, as an x86 processor, other operating systems will run, but if the power management cannot be access by the OS, it isn't going to be a useful port.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 2 years ago | (#41349623)

Sounds a lot like the same program that lead to Dell having a "We recommend Windows Server" banner above all their servers, despite having a very active Linux compatibility and sales program.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

rachit (163465) | about 2 years ago | (#41349625)

What's with all these new CPUs being labeled for "Windows 8 only?" First it was the new Intel processor, now AMD. Does Microsoft have some new ridiculous "partnership" strategy going on that we need to be aware of?

The simplest explanation -- that Microsoft is handing over bags of cash to get this Windows 8 exclusivity -- both fits the facts and Microsoft's past behavior. So I'd say, yes.

But it really doesn't make sense, for especially Intel. They are deathly afraid of ARM making them irrelevant in the post-PC world*. Why would they be so short sighted when cash isn't a problem for them.

* I can't believe I used that phrase. I feel dirty.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41349873)

Microsoft certainly isn't handing any money to AMD. AMD is not a Windows 8 tablet launch partner. They got cut out completely, which is why all of the major upcoming Windows 8 tablets are Atom (or Core) despite the fact that AMD's Brazos platform is considerably faster than Atom.

AMD and their ODM partners are free to work on Windows 8 tablets on their own time (and their own dime), but unlike Intel they aren't getting any help or promotion from Microsoft. Which is a shame since AMD really needs the business.

EU Fines? May or may not be the case (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 years ago | (#41349907)

If MS "sponsorship" of these chipsets is the case, it will probably come out. If it comes out, they will have to pay massive amounts of money to the EU and lose very lucrative contracts due to being a repeat offender. Would they really risk that? It would cost them billions this time, because previous fines obviously wouldn't have been high enough to deter them. Personally, I'm not so sure whether this is actually happening or not. They have the reputation, but it's a high risk strategy so it may very well be not the case, since they stand to lose an awful lot of money if it'd come out they did this.

A scenario in which Linux/Android support is added later for this or the next iteration of the same architecture sounds more plausible, for both AMD and Intel. Time to market is crucial here, so (initial) focussing on the OS that is going to sell the most chips isn't such a bad strategy. You can't have your complete development team write both the Windows and the Xwindows support drivers in the same time it takes to write just the Windows drivers for the GFX part of the chip. The same applies to other peripherals. Even if you can use large chunks of code from previous hardware generations, there still is development, test and packaging work to be done. Unless a large Linux/Android vendor is going to commit to a large purchase order (Acer, Dell or HP perhaps?) the commercial incentive to push for Linux drivers is relatively low. Someone in the FOSS will port the chipset, with rudimentary functionality probably, and AMD will probably have the open source driver team include it in a later release of their "generic" open source schedule.

It *is* strategic for x86 vendors... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349087)

Consider this: x86 on Android is a second class citizen, ARM is better supported by the ecosystem. Intel's trying hard so as not to be left out of the party, but ultimately advancing Android is counter to x86's interests in the near term.

Consider more general Linux: next to no application affinity to a particular processor architecture in the desktop space. All the popular software *today* is pretty much straight from distro and trivial to recompile. The exception being flash, but even Adobe seems to be trying to kill it at this point. Again, x86 vendors are likely not to be excited about advancing that picture of the future. Of course, the other fact of relatively low desktop share attributed to linux.

Finally, Windows. While they are trying to do an ARM strategy this go around, 99% of the reason to run windows is to run applications that, coincidentally, are x86-only. If you make x86 processors for a living, you *want* Windows to win at this point as the alternatives erase your competitive advantage and in fact turn it into a disadvantage. There is also probably some fear that the 'safe' Windows market that has always been x86 constrained getting away from that if MS' ARM effort actually takes hold. The more AMD and Intel do in the near term to be 'kind of like ARM, but with real application support', the more unlikely Windows on ARM is to make an advance.

Re:It *is* strategic for x86 vendors... (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#41349193)

That may explain it. Another possibility that I tought since the Intel anouncement is that those chips may simply not be able to compete with ARM ones in a level playing field. Thus, the only possibility is to focus on a market where x86 is an advantaje, that is Win8.

Otherwise, I'd have to conclude that everybody got insane. Why would a manufacturer want to reduce the appeal of his chips? Low volumes mean highter prices, that lead to lower volumes, and highter prices (just like rocket fuel calculations)...

I just don't know why those companies don't create a good architecture for competing with ARM, or, in the case of Intel, why it doesn't just sell ARM chips (well it even tried, there must be a reason).

Re:It *is* strategic for x86 vendors... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349359)

If these chips are somewhere between the top arm and current low end x86 chips, there is a reasonable niche for energy concious linux desktops (imho).

One has to wonder if this is more a concern about the image of x86 vs. arm. It would be a lot more obvious running linux, where we could directly compare the performance and power consumption of the same applications. As long as they only run windows, they will be compared against the reluctantly supported platform that will be sold as "we have it if that's what you really want". Won't be able to compare all the same applications, and there will be confusion as to whether the poor performance on the arm is a property of the platform or the implementation.

Keeping these things away from linux may just be a ploy to avoid some serious embarrassment. :-)

Re:It *is* strategic for x86 vendors... (1)

gronofer (838299) | about 2 years ago | (#41349419)

So we are retaining the status quo, Android and IOS on ARM and Windows on x86?

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 2 years ago | (#41349095)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/05/09/1115235/amd-to-support-coreboot-on-all-upcoming-processors [slashdot.org]

Thank goodness they're not completely drinking the Microsoft Metro kool-aid. :) I know what cpu will be in my next linux box (the same manufacturer that's in my current one... AMD.)

Re:WHO CARES (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349145)

There are ENOUGH SHIT Android tablets out there running ARM processors.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41349187)

Wouldn't be the first case.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#41349273)

It makes all the sense in the world that Intel/AMD wouldn't put in the effort to go after Android. It's firmly entrenched as an ARMv7 platform, and using MIPS or x86 chips will mean all the CPU-intensive apps in the market won't work. Intel/AMD would have to come up with ARMv7 emulation, and at that point, why not just go with the latest, nice and cheap, ARM CPU?

Intel/AMD would need to maintain a huge advantage in performance, and price, and power requirements, for a good long time, before manufacturers would take a chance on architecture switching their devices. But with Windows 8, Intel/AMD don't have any such burden... in fact they're the incumbent architecture there, which is unlikely to be overturned by competitors. It wouldn't make sense for them to do anything else.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349323)

Other reasons aside, it makes good sense for Hype.

If tablets are going to take off into the numbers that make the fabs true fortune-generators, these guys need a real success on launch. Pushing W8 means a coordinated hype campaign with MS (which whatever you think of them, they're the 800lb gorilla in public recognition), and /crucially/ gets a bigger % of developers working on apps for this launch.

They need all hands on deck and pulling on the same ropes. There's a real risk that the new platform will only muddle forward in the current market. They can't risk it. That will sink companies.

Not worth supporting linux (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#41349355)

From a business stand point its not worth doing linux support. It will take more resources and cash and the linux folks will never be happy with whats given to them.

Re:Not worth supporting linux (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41349393)

It costs *more* to "lock out linux" and other operating systems.

Seriously, how much does it cost to "support linux" from a CPU vendor POV? They have just been putting out chips like they always have and letting people do what they will with them, windows, linux, bsd, qnx, wind-river, whatever.

Now they're doing *OS detection* to make sure that the OS is Windows 8? Come on.

--
BMO

Re:Not worth supporting linux (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#41349767)

They are going to have to devote time and resources toward preparing and releasing documentation and then maintaining it. All this so a few oddballs with nothing better to do can shoehorn linux onto something and giving it less functionality then the native OS.

Re:Not worth supporting linux (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41349867)

>All this so a few oddballs

Yes, like IBM and Oracle and all those oddballs.

Meet your new status. Plonk

--
BMO

Re:Not worth supporting linux (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 2 years ago | (#41350029)

IBM and Oracle are planning on releasing an after-market Linux distro for tablets? WTF! This is just too crazy, unbelievable!

Re:Not worth supporting linux (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41350079)

What kind of chip manufacturer would release a CPU without having properly maintained documentation to go with it? Please tell me, so that I may avoid them like the plague.

Re:Not worth supporting linux (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41349647)

1. it costs more to lock out a compatible OS than it profits to 'let it work' at the very least, or provide enabling source/documentation at the most.

2. Expecting what came before+sensible innovation for a given sum is not entitlement. It is a natural expectation from consumers. Expecting this and getting attempts at false scarcity in the form of windows 8 style lockdown (or gnome3 or half closed android or nvidia blobs) is something reasonable to complain about. Contrary to your attitude, complaints are not always demands for entitlements, though this excuse is often trotted out when a vendor pulls a particularly egregious bait and switch that causes enough user complaints to make their market droids wince, and their officers to give a public statement in a pathetic attempt to save face.

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349567)

Ever hear of wintel?

Re:First Intel, now AMD? (2)

erice (13380) | about 2 years ago | (#41349729)

What's with all these new CPUs being labeled for "Windows 8 only?" First it was the new Intel processor, now AMD. Does Microsoft have some new ridiculous "partnership" strategy going on that we need to be aware of?

I think it is most likely that they don't think they can compete with ARM for the Android market. x86 compatibility isn't a compelling feature for an android machine. To the extend that ISA matters, the ISA to be compatible with is ARM. This makes it really hard for Intel and AMD to win supplying chips for Android devices. Windows 8 is an easier market for them to penetrate in the short run. In the long run, both AMD and Intel benefit from steering mobile devices to a platform that at least encourages x86 compatibility.

boiled frogs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348997)

once upon a time you could get hardware specs with theory of operation.
then it became customary to drop that fanciness and just give a linux driver.
linux users applauded.
but then they stopped providing linux drivers, and as there were no specs,
and the windows drivers were closed, there was nothing to write linux drivers from.

the applause was premature, you slowly cooking frogs.

Re:boiled frogs (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#41349225)

And while the big corps are doing that, there is an entire team of medium corps (ok, "medium" at chip manufacturing is still huge) competing to create the most open environment, and locking the fastest growing* market segment to themselves.

* And expected to start to eat the biggest market segment soon, because of Moore's law and the "good enough" status of the desktops and laptops. Also, they are already starting to reach the processing-intensive ninche, where power consuption is as important as on portables.

AMD is useless since they spun off GlobalFoundries (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41348999)

No chip manufacturing capability left, shiutty chip designs which dont perform (like bulldozer) swirling down the tube and only being saved by sucking on the Micro$hit teat. Like Nokia AMD would have been a has been if it wasnt continuously propped up by Intels $2 billion settlement payments.

Re:AMD is useless since they spun off GlobalFoundr (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41349633)

As I understand it, theyre the only game in town if you want to do massive virtualization, because they provide substantially higher cores-per-socket than Intel (unless you count hyperthreading, and really who does that).

Re:AMD is useless since they spun off GlobalFoundr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349825)

Oracle/Sun with the T-series systems..

Android TAM = 400M units a year (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41349005)

And growing logarithmically still. AMD is not alone though. Intel Atom chips [techcrunch.com] are also going for the niche "mobile Windows" market that's struggling to crawl out of single digits.

How many of those as x86? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349547)

For AMD and Intel, both firmly wed to x86, there is no TAM in Android, because Android tablets are almost all ARM based.

Not so much TAM, as x86AM.

Apple of course, also run ARM chips. It's odd, x86 is nowhere in that market, ARM dominates it, yet they'd like to pretend they can just enter the market with inferior product and think it will just magically win by who they are?

A rare event. (0)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#41349025)

Someone alert Al Bundy! He won't want to miss this.

Thank Gawd AMD Hates Windows (2, Funny)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#41349039)

I mean, we all know it was those evil pro-MS Intel types who named their chips "Pentium XP" and launched them just a couple of weeks after M$ launched Windows XP!

Oh, and Jerry Sanders *never ever* testified in favor of M$ at that Anti-Trust trial, that was some Intel evil guy.

And AMD Never worked out a deal with M$ to have it push 64-bit windows onto AMD's 64-bit CPUs, that was Intel, because it was evil Intel that forced us to upgrade x86 to 64 bits intead of using some miracle architecture.

Yup, AMD has a long history of fighting tooth & nail for the forces of good to stop Microsoft at every possible turn! That's why I know this story can't possibly be true, especially if it is being put forth by those known-pro Wintel fanbois that work in AMD's PR department...

Re:Thank Gawd AMD Hates Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349233)

And AMD Never worked out a deal with M$ to have it push 64-bit windows onto AMD's 64-bit CPUs, that was Intel, because it was evil Intel that forced us to upgrade x86 to 64 bits intead of using some miracle architecture.

WTF are you talking about? Intel was pushing a 64bit ISA that is widely considered to be terrible in hindsight among engineers, which wasn't backwards compatible, implemented with a fairly crappy uArch as well that only succeeded in some small subset of math workloads because they put a huge amount of cache on their SoC.

AMD implemented a 64 bit extension to x86 that allowed complete backwards compatibility, and after intel realized that's what the market wanted, they tried to push their own x86 extension that wasn't compatible after AMD had already built one, and MS stood by AMD.

Re:Thank Gawd AMD Hates Windows (2)

jmauro (32523) | about 2 years ago | (#41349583)

IA64 (Itanium) was actually backwards compatible with x86-32. It just wasn't very fast when it ran code in that mode on the initial version. Later versions of the Itanium were much better (mainly due to a major change of putting an x86 processor on die until the software executed version caught up).

The biggest issue was that at the price point they offered it at most people couldn't justify it for the workload they had and then AMD extended x86-32 to be 64-bits which pretty much ate the 64-bit market alive on Windows and Linux boxes.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Itanium from an engineering standpoint, it's just was the wrong product for the time from an economic standpoint.

Re:Thank Gawd AMD Hates Windows (1)

MechaStreisand (585905) | about 2 years ago | (#41349775)

There's plenty wrong with Itanium from an engineering standpoint: the idea that instruction ordering should be done at compile time, instead of at execution time when there is more information available, is completely stupid. Remember, this is the company that got rid of the barrel shifter for the P4. Not every decision they make is good.

Re:Thank Gawd AMD Hates Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349787)

Binary translation isn't really backwards compatible, bro.

There was plenty wrong with the itanium architecture. If it was superior, they would have still been pushing it. Intel even published articles about how predication (one of the major "features" of the ISA was basically worth nothing.

Re:Thank Gawd AMD Hates Windows (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349239)

You suck at sarcasm. Also, I find your false dichotomies both quaint and foolish.

Stop reusing codenames! (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41349103)

Intel already used the Hondo name - for an Itanium chip, the Itanium 2 MX2, in 2004. A rather interesting one at that - the only processor I know of to use an L4 cache. Now granted, it's a Multi-Chip Module - two processor dies and an L4 die - so the L4 cache was basically just there to make the hastily glued-together processors work together faster.

I know, it's not exactly going to cause confusion for anybody, but it still irritates me when this happens.

So long and thanks for the fish (4, Interesting)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 2 years ago | (#41349111)

As a desktop Windows developer I was disappointed at how Microsoft has abandoned its desktop roots and users for a single-minded pursuit of the iOS/Android smartphone market.The alienation of their existing customer base has been made very clear to Microsoft. So has the widespread dissatisfaction with Metro 8, but no one at Microsoft is listening to us or even feigning concern.

If Microsoft and hangers on like AMD want to bash their heads into a brick wall that's their choice, but they're not taking us with them. We read the writing on the wall and have switched our desktop efforts to Android tablets. Thanks for the push, Microsoft.

Re:So long and thanks for the fish (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41349417)

What I'm really pissed off about is how the Linux ecosystem is now going to be flooded with all these shitty desktop Windows developers pushing their shitware on everyone.

Thanks a lot Microsoft!

Re:So long and thanks for the fish (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 2 years ago | (#41349477)

move to bsd and build tools for those shitter when it happens

Nothing stopping them from running other OSes? (1)

tcort (538018) | about 2 years ago | (#41349191)

What about Windows 8 Secure Boot?

Intel and AMD... hmmm (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41349227)

Seems to me like they're trying to give Microsoft a leg up... with the realization that Microsoft is going to fail miserably with Windows 8.

It's like holding someone's hair back while they puke... you know what they're doing is unpleasant, and that what you're doing isn't going to help much... but you do it anyway.

Just in from Ford (2)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#41349275)

The new Focus will only run on BP gas!

Re:Just in from Ford (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349579)

Which is scarce - since most of it is still floating around the gulf of mexico!

Jeez, Key Facts Up Front Please (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41349303)

When the talking point is "Windows 8, not Android" my first question is "Windows RT or regular Windows?" In other words, is this an ARM chip (as is the case with 90% of Android systems) or an x86 chip? That key fact is buried near the end of the article (x86).

That little detail makes their decision not to support Android initially a lot easier to understand: people who sell Android tablets have all their expertise in ARM, and are not going to be in a hurry to buy an x86 chip.

AMD is famous for it x86 chips (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41349431)

Valid point, but for a forum dominated by people presumably knowledgeable in IT, any mention of AMD is presumed to be related to its 64/32-bit x86 chips, unless otherwise noted. While AMD just "might" be selling more non-x86 hardware, at the moment that's what they're famous for. Even their ATI-inherited GPU designs target mostly the x86 PC market. So there, no need to say Obama is the incumbent president and Romney his Republican challenger in a discussion about current US politics.

Re:AMD is famous for it x86 chips (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41349681)

any mention of AMD is presumed to be related to its 64/32-bit x86 chips

Huh? We talking about tablets! Most tablets are based on ARM chips. Even Microsoft has been forced to acknowledge that ARM dominates the tablet space, by creating Windows RT. That's why the fact that a new tablet-centric CPU is not ARM is itself significant.

Yeah, people who are thoroughly familiar with AMD know that they don't do ARM. But most people don't know that. I didn't know that, not until I did some Googling just now.

Important fact! Up front! Basic Journalism [wikipedia.org] . Assumptions make... [wikipedia.org]

Stock up now... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41349313)

... on Processors and platforms that will run Linux, because their days are numbered. They couldn't beat Linux on the IP front, so they will just collude to lock it out in the architecture.

They're ALL in on it. (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41349363)

AMD... fuck you, too.

Nothing stopping users from running other OSes? (1)

gronofer (838299) | about 2 years ago | (#41349399)

I expect these tablets will be locked to Windows 8 through a secure boot system. It remains to be seen that users will be able to install other OSes.

secure boot system likely not lockout win 7 (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41349427)

secure boot system likely not lockout win 7.

To much enterprise use out there. But a lot can be made up by having the old desktop with some kind of old start menu be added to windows 8

hey amd. pay attention. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41349401)

fuck windows 8.

FUD piece? (2)

zixxt (1547061) | about 2 years ago | (#41349463)

Android = Linux ?

They are not supporting Android, i.e they are not going to guarantee that its works but that does not mean you cannot run Android or your favorite Linux distro on the thing,
Lots of FUD and outrage over nothing at this point in time.

Re:FUD piece? (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41349933)

Furthermore the article doesn't at all get into the realities of developing an Android tablet, which for AMD would be a significant hurdle that almost certainly shaped their plan to stick to Windows for now.

While Android itself is cross-platform, the ecosystem as a whole is built around ARM processors. As a result getting Android up and running is a fairly easy endeavour - though still easier for ARM since it more closely matches the Google reference platform - but getting the rest of the ecosystem in place is much harder.

One only has to take a look at Intel's smartphone ambitions to see what is required; approximately 25% of the apps on the Market are statically compiled for ARM, which required that Intel dedicate resources towards building an ARM/x86 binary translator and staff to test and approve applications using it. AMD would have to do much of the same thing for themselves, which significantly raises the barrier to entry for them.

Re:FUD piece? (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41350031)

>Android = Linux ?

Why yes, yes it is. Instead of a GNU userland, though, it has a Google userland.

You don't know much about Linux, do you?

--
BMO

Repeating Nokia's mistake? (3, Insightful)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41349581)

It seems as if Intel and AMD are repeating Nokia's mistake in signing on to some exclusivity agreement with Microsoft. Likely to be the only winner in such a deal is the software company, since software has traditionally been the more profitable business.

What may well seal the future of Windows, however, aren't deals with big Western corporations, but Microsoft's ability to shift the low-end players into adopting the OS. The question is, will the generic gadget manufacturers of China willingly abandon the relative freedom they've enjoyed with installing an OS they can already fork and bastardize without seeking the blessings of some big American company?

Maybe it's time for Microsoft to opensource some bare-bones version of Windows, perhaps rewriting it to ensure that installing it on premium hardware is enough of a pain to merit licensing the full OS?

Irrelevant... (3, Interesting)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#41349603)

...when the ARM processor does android just fine, thank you.

From the article (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 2 years ago | (#41349783)

However unlike Intel, AMD said there is nothing stopping people from running Linux on its Hondo processor

Wtf why write an article on that !

No doubt Microsoft will bring AMD success, (1, Interesting)

drwho (4190) | about 2 years ago | (#41349849)

,just as they have for Nokia.

And the AllWinner is a Linux product (2)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41349871)

The AllWinner, the $7 ARM system on a chip which powers most newer low-end tablets, runs Linux only. You can boot Android, or any of several other Linux variants. There is no Microsoft option.

x86 or ARM? (1)

Ronin441 (89631) | about 2 years ago | (#41349877)

TFA neglects to mention whether this Hondo chip is x86 or ARM. Since Windows 8 runs on both, it's a legit question.

(I'm guessing x86, but that's just a guess.)

Re:x86 or ARM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41350009)

Hondo is x86. Basically, it is a low power respin of Brazos.

Re:x86 or ARM? (2)

George_Ou (849225) | about 2 years ago | (#41350081)

Hondo is a Brazo based "APU" so it's definitely x86. But unlike Intel Clover Trail, AMD Hondo isn't really a tablet chip because it fundamentally lacks "Connected Standby" capability in Windows 8. That means it won't do 30 days of standby in an on state nor is it compatible of meeting the 300 millisecond screen-on requirement. Moreover, Hondo is a 4.9W TDP part while Intel Clover Trail is a 1.7W TDP part.

Need a new name for this MS only architecture (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41350007)

We need a new name for this Microsoft only architecture - let me suggest "strongARM".
How else can these "our product is deliberately crippled" announcements from Intel and AMD be explained? Nobody wants to annouce that their product is crippled unless they are coerced into it.
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