Microsoft on Monday announced that there will be three editions of its next-generation Windows 8 operating system: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. The Redmond-based company detailed each edition on its blog and promised “all editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience.” Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will support PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, while Windows RT will be reserved for ARM-powered devices. The basic edition of Windows 8 is aimed at the average consumer, while the Windows 8 Pro edition is designed for tech enthusiasts and business and technical professionals and the RT edition is aimed at lighter-duty devices. More →
Laptops running Microsoft’s Windows operating system currently utilize x86 processors, but that’s all about to change in mid-2013 when Windows 8 notebooks powered by ARM processors may hit the market. It could happen sooner, of course; Qualcomm’s CEO Paul Jacobs recently said that Windows 8 devices powered by his company’s ARM-based Snapdragon processors would hit the market in 2012. The Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices may only be tablets at first, however, and DigiTimes said Tuesday the first ARM-based notebooks from ASUS and Lenovo will begin to hit the market in June of 2013. Read on for more. More →
Intel confirmed that it is close to bringing Android 2.2 to the Intel Atom and other x86 platforms. According to Renee James, Intel’s VP of Software and Services, Intel will be releasing its x86-friendly port of Froyo to the masses via the Android Open Source Project sometime this summer. This will open the door for manufacturers eager to release Android-powered netbooks and tablets, while also allowing developers to design apps for the x86 platform. Rather than pulling out your hair trying to create an Android-powered Dell Mini 10, you will soon be able to purchase one directly from Dell. Sounds like an Android lover’s dream come true. More →
Folks hoping for an Atom-powered Android smartphone have reason to rejoice, as Intel’s GM of software and services announced that not only has the chipmaking giant modified the open-source platform to play nice with its x86-based processors, but it already has customers interested in using the unique OS-chipset combination. While no further details were divulged, the same executive also mentioned the company is hard at work getting “enabling all OSes for Atom phones.” When Google first designed the Android platform it did so with ARM-based processors in mind, but now that people have a taste for high-powered processors like the 1GHz Snapdragon from Qualcomm, companies such as Intel are scrambling to get their processors compatible with a multitude of operating systems. Can you imagine a phone like the HTC EVO will full Adobe Flash compatibility running a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450? Yes, our hearts would melt, too.
Since the heyday of the UMPC, Intel has dominated the mobile PC market, from the Intel Celeron M in the Samsung Q1 to the current Atom processor which is present in nearly every netbook on the market. According to market research company ABI, those days of Intel dominance may be slowly coming to an end as mobile PC manufacturers turn to ARM-based solutions for this emerging category of devices. In contrast to the x86-based architecture, ARM-based systems offer low power consumption, improved battery life, compatibility with a variety of mobile platforms, have a lower price tag and offer an always on, always connected experience. As its raw processing power and popularity increases, the ARM-based system on a chip is also expanding beyond its smartphone roots and is being used to power tablets, netbooks and the like. A combination of these above factors is expected to slowly propel ARM to dominance by 2013 with ARM’s SoCs garnering a 25% market share in 2010, increasing yearly until the pendulum shifts in 2013 and it grabs a dominant 60% market share by 2014. Faster, cheaper, longer lasting mobile devices? We say bring it on. More →