Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 20:13 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Ah, the ARM chip. ARM is a hugely successful architecture, and can be found in just about every cell phone or other small device out there. ARM, however, wants more, and for a long time now we've been hearing predictions about an upcoming massive rise in ARM netbooks - so far, this hasn't materialised. Warren East, ARM's CEO, said in an interview with PC Pro that netbooks could one day make up 90% of the laptop market - preferably powered by ARM processors of course.
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it's in the pipe lines
by poundsmack on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 20:25 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

MS knows the massive growth potential with the growing presence of ARM based products as well Microsoft's need to support multi platforms. This is where the Helios project comes in. It doesnt just relate to MS's mobile and CE efforts but to future versions of windows. I think OSnews did an article about it at one point, ah found it, http://www.osnews.com/story/22251/Another_Microsoft_Research_Operat.....

MS is getting ready, think Windows 9

more info here http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/81154/helios.pdf

Reply Score: 2

RE: it's in the pipe lines
by kragil on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 21:30 UTC in reply to "it's in the pipe lines"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Well the common internet conspiracy theory is that the when cheap Linux netbooks with ARM were all the craze at CES 2008 MS and Intel intervened and paid their way to not have them materialize...

There might be some truth in that (ARM+Linux on a massive scale would be very bad for business for Wintel), but I think just now ARM with those Cortex A8 and A9 are able to run Linux really fast so that you can have powerful machines that are useful.

Apple and Google (and maybe Canonical in their litte way) will help this trend towards cheaper smaller computers (netbooks, tablets, smartbooks)

I think he could be right .. a perfect storm for Wintel might be brewing.

Worldwide 90% of smartbooks (smaller netbooks, not laptops) and tablets running ARM is possible by 2012, but the world will end once that happens ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: it's in the pipe lines
by lemur2 on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE: it's in the pipe lines"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Well the common internet conspiracy theory is that the when cheap Linux netbooks with ARM were all the craze at CES 2008 MS and Intel intervened and paid their way to not have them materialize... There might be some truth in that (ARM+Linux on a massive scale would be very bad for business for Wintel),


It was an actual ASUS machine, it was displayed on one day (at I tink it was CES 2008) and generated a lot of buzz, and it was withdrawn the very next day.

They didn't get the cover story clear, because after it was withdrawn two different ASUS represenatives, when quizzed about it, gave two different reasons for the withdrawal. The ASUS CEO even brought some extra unwanted attention to it by apologizing.

Since when has a CEO had to apologize for displaying a new product at a trade show?

Reply Score: 7

RE: it's in the pipe lines
by shotsman on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:47 UTC in reply to "it's in the pipe lines"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

My take on this is that it might be that Windows 9 will run on ARm but I think that by the time this happens they may well have missed the boat.
Why?
It is not Microsoft that will dictate if the port of Windows to ARM is a success, it is the non Microsoft applications that the users will demand.
IMHO, the time lag will give the likes of Google & Canonical to make their packaged offerings much slicker for the key success factors. Many of the apps that MS would have to rely on for their package to be a success are already in a standard Linux distro.

Just my 2c worth

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: it's in the pipe lines
by strcpy on Thu 4th Feb 2010 04:39 UTC in reply to "RE: it's in the pipe lines"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


It is not Microsoft that will dictate if the port of Windows to ARM is a success, it is the non Microsoft applications that the users will demand.


While I agree with you partially, I think we typically miss the mark with this kind of discussion.

If there is sufficient demand, I am entirely sure that most of the x86 Windows applications will be ported to ARM. And, well, even the word "port" is too strong here; for an user space application, ARM just a CPU architecture and in majority of cases recompilation (with perhaps some minor maintenance) is the only thing required.

As for the article, I am not sure to whom the guy is speaking to. To me, it sounded like it might be the shareholders.


IMHO, the time lag will give the likes of Google & Canonical to make their packaged offerings much slicker for the key success factors. Many of the apps that MS would have to rely on for their package to be a success are already in a standard Linux distro.


And then there is the question whether these applications in Linux distributions really are comparable to their Windows equivalents.

Perhaps the last episode (you know, the original "Linux on netbooks") in this crusade against M-dollar-sign showed that consumers really did not fancy Linux.

Edited 2010-02-04 04:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: it's in the pipe lines
by darknexus on Thu 4th Feb 2010 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: it's in the pipe lines"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Actually, I doubt most consumers got to see any Linux netbooks. There weren't many big retail stores carrying them even in the beginning, and that's where most people go to get things like that.
Of course, the buggy, crippled distros the likes of Asus and Acer stuck on those machines, with a patently obvious lack of any testing whatsoever, might have had something to do with this too. Ever dealt with the Xandros crap on the Asus Eee models? No wonder the few consumers that bought it were pissed off. You'd be hard pressed to find an os more buggy than that, even Vista didn't break half as much as that did.
Most early buyers were tinkerers and geeks and, by the time the more typical consumers caught on to netbooks, the Linux models were all but gone from the major OEMs anyway.

Reply Score: 4

Battery Life
by Earl Colby pottinger on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 20:28 UTC
Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am getting over seven(7) hours of use with Haiku on my Toshiba NB205. It has already made a major change in how I use my netbook compared to only two(2) hours plus that I got with Dell.

With the Dell I paid too much attention to when I wanted it on/off once I left the house.

The netbook I use all day without a concern.

An ARM netbook with an e-ink display could probably run a week on a single charge, and probably could be charged with a simple solar panel/charger combo.

One/Two week trips to the cabin would be a snap, on cruises documenting the pictures would be easier, and general it would be one less thing to monitor on any type of trip. And I finally have enough battery life to read more than on David Weber on a single charge. ;)

My only base requirement is that I can install Haiku.

Reply Score: 5

good to see a British company do well
by project_2501 on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 20:40 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

It's good to see a British company do well!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_Holdings

From humble beginnings (BBC micro) to global presence (licensing to Intel, chips in most portable devices).

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Indeed. There was a time when Britain was the centre of the computing world. We even gave a ZX Spectrum to the Japanese prime minister as a show of our computing capabilities. Games used to be released here before America (imagine that!) and young British hackers would crack the games and then transmit them to America over hijacked phone calls (blueboxing, &c.). It was the age of the real life WarGames.

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Oh, and I highly recommend tracking down the film/dramatisation/documentary “Micro Men” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1459467/ It’s about the early history of British home computing and it’s great for Acorn / Sinclair fans.

Reply Score: 2

frood Member since:
2005-07-06

I just finished watching it and thought it was superb. Thanks for recommending.

Edited 2010-02-04 05:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Games used to be released here before America (imagine that!)


That's because all the good games back then was made in Europe. Well, they still are imho.

Reply Score: 3

90%? He's fantasizing
by tyrione on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 20:45 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

That will never happen.

Reply Score: 0

Keep talking...
by darknexus on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 21:05 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Until I see an ARM smartbook/netbook/whatever they'll be called that I can purchase, this is all hot air. I want one, believe me, but we keep hearing how great and wonderful they will be but there's no products. An ARM netbook, running Ubuntu-ARM or another similar Linux, would be perfect for me. If Windows wouldn't run on it that'd be an extra bonus, no worries about windows-only hardware in that case.
But it comes down to the one important question: Where are they? So far, no one has answered with a product I can hold in my greedy little hands.
Oh, and by the time we see one of these ARM netbooks, the iPad and possibly future Android tablets might already have taken their market away from them.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Keep talking...
by fretinator on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 21:10 UTC in reply to "Keep talking..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

There is one available at:

http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm

It is somewhat rough around the edges - there was a good review Linux Journal recently. It is definitely a shipping product, albeit a 2 month wait time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Keep talking...
by darknexus on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Keep talking..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The Touchbook is more of a tablet than a netbook, not really what I'm looking for. I like the small Netbook form factor, with a keyboard built in and typically relatively comfortable to type on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Keep talking...
by kaiwai on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Keep talking..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

There is one available at:

http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/home/index.htm

It is somewhat rough around the edges - there was a good review Linux Journal recently. It is definitely a shipping product, albeit a 2 month wait time.


That is kind of useless; all this talk about ARM netbooks is pissing me off as much as all those promising a Loongson MIPS based netbooks and never delivering them - when are we going to see that EMTEC netbook with the Loongson? yet another pie in the sky idea that never gets off the ground? Talk and talk and talk is about the only thing these IT companies can do - how about showing some real products that I can purchase online and have shipped to NZ - then I might remotely care about the product.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Keep talking...
by Morty on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Keep talking..."
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

how about showing some real products that I can purchase online and have shipped to NZ - then I might remotely care about the product.


That has been done time and time again. You could have ordered a Touch Book the first time you complained about it, and got presented with the link. Then you would have had it already, and the rest of us would not have to read the same useless drivel in every discussion about alternative CPU platforms.

You are either inept or not trying to get one of those devices, as it seem quite manageable to get one. I have even seen Longsoon devices for sale locally here in Norway, so it should not be impossible to get some to NZ either. Personally I'm holding out for the next generation, with some more power than the Touch Book or Longsoons.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Keep talking...
by kaiwai on Thu 4th Feb 2010 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Keep talking..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

That has been done time and time again. You could have ordered a Touch Book the first time you complained about it, and got presented with the link. Then you would have had it already, and the rest of us would not have to read the same useless drivel in every discussion about alternative CPU platforms.


Provide me the link where you provided specifically to me in a replied message the exact link.

You are either inept or not trying to get one of those devices, as it seem quite manageable to get one. I have even seen Longsoon devices for sale locally here in Norway, so it should not be impossible to get some to NZ either. Personally I'm holding out for the next generation, with some more power than the Touch Book or Longsoons.


There are no resellers in New Zealand - I tried to get in contact with a distributor/reseller via Alibaba but I have received no reply.

Funny how high and mighty you are with the throwing around of abuse that you do.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Keep talking...
by -ajp- on Thu 4th Feb 2010 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Keep talking..."
-ajp- Member since:
2010-02-04


There are no resellers in New Zealand - I tried to get in contact with a distributor/reseller via Alibaba but I have received no reply.

Funny how high and mighty you are with the throwing around of abuse that you do.


Why do you need a reseller in New Zealand? They will ship you one directly if you order from their website. There is a backlog of orders right now so you might have to wait a bit, like everyone else.

From their faq ( http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/wiki/index.php/Faqs#Do_you_ship_int... ):

What are the countries you are selling the Touch Book?

We are selling the Touch Book to the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (Great Britain), and the United States. We may add countries to that list later on, but we don't have a timetable yet.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes. We have not yet figured out the multi-language keyboard production, but you can already order a Touch Book if your shipping address is among the list above. Orders processing are subject to the same delays as US orders, but expect one or two weeks more for delivery due to transit and customs. We only ship to the countries listed in the order form. We may add countries to that list later on, but we don't have a timetable yet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Keep talking...
by cerbie on Thu 4th Feb 2010 08:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Keep talking..."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Single-core A8, 10 hours battery life, nobody willing to give specs for GFX drivers (or good binaries--bring on a new Tegra, if that's what it takes! ;) ), and it costs as much as a nice Intel-based netbook that will get 75% of the battery life, and have 2-3GB RAM.

It's neat, but not all that neat, unless you really want a tablet. What we've seen hyped are devices with multi-core Cortex A9 based SoCs, capable of decent amounts of RAM, and some real performance, while in theory using 5-10W less than a comparable Atom (and maybe, at some point, sufficiently open graphics cores).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Keep talking...
by Gone fishing on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 21:28 UTC in reply to "Keep talking..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Agreed,

I wanted a small mini notebook for my daughter. I didn't really want an Atom powered mini laptop and an ARM would have been perfect. It wasn't going to run Windows anyway.

But there were non to buy.

Softspot for ARM always used to like Acorns.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Keep talking...
by umccullough on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Keep talking..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I wanted a small mini notebook for my daughter. I didn't really want an Atom powered mini laptop and an ARM would have been perfect. It wasn't going to run Windows anyway.


Same here... I could care less about touch screens and nonsense like that - I want a thin, lightweight, super power efficient ARM-based machine with keyboard and mouse input, but with a reasonable sized screen (9-10") - and cheap.

Probably a pipe dream - but at least right now I'm enjoying my 8.9" AA1 ;)

It seems all the ARM-based devices are headed in the direction of touchscreen without a keyboard (or keyboard optional)... Is that all people want any more? I guess some people might view a keyboard as "cumbersome" after learning to text with their thumbs all their life ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Keep talking...
by Morty on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:01 UTC in reply to "Keep talking..."
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh, and by the time we see one of these ARM netbooks, the iPad and possibly future Android tablets might already have taken their market away from them.

Wrong, they will only add to the market share not take away. After all they will all be the same thing, just different form factors. iPad or ARM netbook both uses an ARM, so from the CEO of ARM point of view it does not really matter. Keyboard or not the CPU is the same. Besides the existence of non Apple ARM tablets, may also increase the software availability/visibility for ARM netbooks.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Keep talking...
by darknexus on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Keep talking..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Guess I wasn't clear, I didn't mean that ARM's market would have been taken. I meant the market, specifically, for ARM-based netbooks might have diminished to the point of being almost nonexistent, and the ARM CEO was specifically speaking of ARM netbooks in this article.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Keep talking...
by Morty on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Keep talking..."
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

I meant the market, specifically, for ARM-based netbooks might have diminished to the point of being almost nonexistent,

Ok, point taken.

As I see it, it may take the other direction. With the same OS(Something linux based/Android/Chrome OS) and applications, the tablets may help increase the adaption of ARM netbooks. Giving the user the choice, do they want keyboard or not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Keep talking...
by JAlexoid on Thu 4th Feb 2010 01:13 UTC in reply to "Keep talking..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Until I see an ARM smartbook/netbook/whatever they'll be called that I can purchase, this is all hot air.

I believe there are such devices on sale in Japan. Though they are very small.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Keep talking...
by joelito_pr on Thu 4th Feb 2010 02:07 UTC in reply to "Keep talking..."
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm in Puerto Rico and I've seen netbooks sell with ARM and WinCE or Linux for $130 to $200

Reply Score: 2

He's right - in the consumer space
by CaptainN- on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 21:15 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

Tablets and net books (same market segment) will most certainly run on ARM, and Linux (probably something like Android - the iPhone model, but less Apple restricted). Consumers are going to increasingly rely on some third party trusted source (Apple with iPad, and other vendors with Android) to vett the software they have available to install and run - because they don't like keeping up on everything, and are no good at it, and don't want to be good at it (better if like WebOS, it updates without asking for permission).

Windows and OS X are already becoming the work station class equipment - and that's great, it's what both of those were designed for. In fact, that's why those segments don't grow very fast.

The future is closed loop Linux installs. :-) I love it.

Reply Score: 0

open source drivers
by dominik.holler on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:26 UTC
dominik.holler
Member since:
2007-05-24

Anyone knows if there will be opensource drivers for the new Arm platform (especialy video (OpenCL/OpenGL/h264) and WiFi chips) ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: open source drivers
by lemur2 on Thu 4th Feb 2010 00:23 UTC in reply to "open source drivers"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Anyone knows if there will be opensource drivers for the new Arm platform (especialy video (OpenCL/OpenGL/h264) and WiFi chips) ?


If a driver is open source, there should be no problem at all with providing it for ARM.

Open source drviers are available for Intel and ATI graphics chipsets, and there is a start for a new open source driver for nvidia graphics chips coming out soon with kernel 2.6.33 (although AFAIK this new driver is still incomplete).

The nvidia tegra platform should have closed-source drivers.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1212391368499.html
http://www.intomobile.com/2010/01/07/nvidia-tegra-250-dual-core-arm...

The situation with wifi chips isn't as good. Intel and Ralink wifi chipsets will have open source drivers, but other chipsets (notably Broadcom chipsets) possibly won't have.

More info here:
http://www.linux-drivers.org/network.html

However ... any OEM making an ARM device would be insane to include any chipset that did not have a good open source driver for Linux. There are plenty of choices for wifi chipsets that do have open source drivers for Linux, so other recalcitrant chipset manufacturers will miss out on supplying to this market.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

expected with their Atom line of cpus. The latest Atom based MSI wind gets over 10 hours which is pretty impressive.

ARM has at least kept Intel competing by forcing them to continually improve their Atom line as a way of keeping cell phone cpus from entering netbooks.

I personally would just like to see $200 netbooks become mainstream. I don't care as much about what OS or cpu they use. They're really just for browsing anyways.

But it is interesting to see x86 get challenged on its own turf.

Reply Score: 2

Finally
by Morty on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 22:45 UTC
Morty
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have always liked ARM, and now there seem like there are going to be some compelling hardware available. From what the different manufacturers show there are some nice devices coming, and hopefully they get to production this time around.

For it time it was quite a nice and competitive device(better looking too), they were called sub-notebook not netbooks then. Unfortunately the Acorn Stork design stranded.
http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/docs/Acorn/ART/ART_DS009_Stork.pdf
http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/Computers/Stork.html

It stranded along with another nice project I also thought made sense at the time, the NewsPAD. I still think it makes sense, as does some others it seem.
http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/docs/Acorn/ART/ART_DS003_NewsPAD.pdf
http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/Computers/NC.html#NewsPAD

Reply Score: 2

kryogenix
Member since:
2008-01-06

I seem to remember lots of ARM, MIPS and SH based netbooks. They liked to call them Handheld PC's and Handheld PC Pros back then. They were sold more as hideously expensive glorified PDA's which might be why they didn't exactly fly off of shelves but they had just about any sort of software you could imagine available for them. I paid like $700 for my Sharp Mobilon.

Take a look at an old HP Jornada 720 to see what I'm talking about. Slap some more storage in there, install an ARM version of Linux or NetBSD and you can have some fun.

I'd rather have a 21st century version of the Newton MessagePad 2x00 though (the ones they finally got right just to axe them a short while later). That thing put the A in PDA.

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Are you advertising your own business and/or scam site here?

Good luck. Most people here just love spam.

Reply Score: 2

Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

Dude

From this very interesting list you can see that a ARM based netbook at the $100 price point has a 266MHz arm 9 processor and a 7" screen.

As soon as you want more speed, say a 600MHz Arm 11 you are at $350 (and you still do not get more than the 7" screen) and this is deep into netbook territory.

However this is comparable to my own investigations. The cheapest Atom chipsets (3 chip sets) costs $30 in volume.

In ARM world $30 gets you nothing that can be used for computing. The good stuff 1GHz A8 dual core costs more than $150 (some of these costs just under $300) much more than much more powerfull equivalents in the Intel/AMD range.

For the cheap ARM sets there is also the problem that you cannot interface them with graphics chips (PCI-Express) this starts at $80 and is not fast enough for graphics.

So Intel/AMD has the ARM producers beat at every price point for usable computing. The Arm producers has to make a 1GHz A9 or 1.6GHz A8 with integrated 3D capable graphics at a price point of $30 (1 K Units) before it gets interesting.

Apple decided to have their own company design such a processor, because it was the only way to get the price low enough to be relevant.

The problem with ARM netbooks is not the OEM/ODM manufacturers it is the lack of ARM devices sufficient functionality at pricepoints that are relevant to the market. I do not see it happening any time soon.

Reply Score: 2

It wouldn't take much, apps are the problem
by joshv on Thu 4th Feb 2010 13:17 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

I doubt it would take all that much work to port Windows to ARM. The issue of course would be applications. I don't think anyone wants to rely on vendors recompiling their apps and creating ARM distributions.

So I imagine the real complexity will be involved in creating some form of robust binary translation/emulation that doesn't take much of a performance hit. But MS has done this before for the Alpha architecture, and there are more modern examples (Rosetta).

Reply Score: 3

Comment by deathshadow
by deathshadow on Thu 4th Feb 2010 13:26 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

... and welcome to 2008 with the same naive pipedream bull we've been hearing for ages.

The average consumer doesn't care about RISC vs. CISC, they don't care about the "free as in freedom" propaganda, and frankly, they want Windows.

When it comes to a netbook, that means they want a downsized laptop, NOT an upsized PDA. In the PDA form factor you're able to get away with a lot of **** in terms of neutered capabilities because people expect it. You add a keyboard and a 800x480 or larger screen people expect more; and sorry to say that as a desktop OS Linux/Free software doesn't deliver and frankly, neither does Windows CE/Mobile.

ARM powered netbooks in first world nations are likely to be relegated to impulse buys that, as I've said before, should end up thrown in the back of the sock drawer alongside those AMD Geode powered thin clients, the Newton, the Atari Portfolio, and a whole host of other devices that weren't actually useful for doing any work on, and were more just toys for dicking around with.

... and until there's a REAL Desktop OS with REAL applications instead of rinky half-assed tinker-toys in perpetual 'catch-up' mode to commercial apps, I don't see that changing.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by deathshadow
by Morgan on Thu 4th Feb 2010 20:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by deathshadow"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

ARM powered netbooks in first world nations are likely to be relegated to impulse buys that, as I've said before, should end up thrown in the back of the sock drawer alongside those AMD Geode powered thin clients, the Newton, the Atari Portfolio, and a whole host of other devices that weren't actually useful for doing any work on, and were more just toys for dicking around with.


You do realize where you are posting this right? A lot of us here really enjoy "dicking around with" these types of "toys".

Besides, the first netbooks put out by ASUS were little more than toys compared to full laptops and desktops, yet look at the mini-revolution they've spawned in the past three years. I have a client who bought an HP Mini specifically because she was looking for something portable and cheap to take to Kenya several times a year, yet useful enough to displace her bulky laptop. If it wasn't for those first ASUS "toys" there wouldn't have been a market for the Mini, which by the way is a bit more powerful and gets much better battery life than my wife's budget full-sized laptop, and runs the exact same apps better. Toy, indeed.

But we were discussing ARM machines, so:


... and until there's a REAL Desktop OS with REAL applications instead of rinky half-assed tinker-toys in perpetual 'catch-up' mode to commercial apps, I don't see that changing.


Why does one need a desktop OS on a device that would be out of place on top of a desk? Netbooks were never meant to be desktop replacements, whereas most modern full size laptops can be. As for "real applications", well I think the 28,000+ apps listed in Synaptic on my Linux Mint install count for something. Given there are at least one or two alternatives to nearly every commercial Windows app in the Linux world, some of which do the job better, I'd say Linux is the perfect OS choice for an ultraportable device.

And lest you retort with "well you're just another Linux fanboy", I'm equally at home on OS X, Windows, Linux, BeOS/Haiku and OS/2, with a particular fondness for OS X and BeOS. My mantra is to use what works best for the given situation, and on a netbook I see Linux as the best choice for now, with Haiku a close second. Once Haiku matures and gets some good app support, I have no doubt it will be the go-to OS for netbooks.

Reply Score: 3

ARM: Transmeta REDUX!
by MasterBlaster on Fri 5th Feb 2010 15:17 UTC
MasterBlaster
Member since:
2009-01-30

A fabless semiconductor company develops an advanced architecture focused on the low-power, embedded segment of the CPU market. They make grandiose claims about performance and battery life and assert future market dominance. Within three years this ambitious company has been crushed by AMD/Intel on a pure cost and technological basis. The failure of Transmeta came despite their possession of an x86 license which enabled the entire Windows world to "run" (modulo some embarrasing compatibility issues) on their CPUs.

So basically, this is the ARM story with a slightly different cast of characters but with the added handicap of *no* x86 license.

I give ARM another year until Intel dismembers them with the new 32-nm Atoms gaining market traction and by the release of the 22-nm Atoms which will have even better power/performance metrics.

ARM'ed with this knowledge please make wise investing and techology selection choices/predictions ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: ARM: Transmeta REDUX!
by PlatformAgnostic on Sun 7th Feb 2010 16:40 UTC in reply to "ARM: Transmeta REDUX!"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I doubt it will go the same way. ARM already has entrenchment in a large number of significant markets. This stuff just represents their attempt to encroach on the traditional PC market. Even if they don't win, they still have a fallback to their traditional strengths.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ARM: Transmeta REDUX!
by SReilly on Sun 7th Feb 2010 17:05 UTC in reply to "ARM: Transmeta REDUX!"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

ARM has been around for a very long time and are not interested in owning a fab as they license out their designs, they don't manufacture chips. The X86 instruction set is of no interest to them either and by the way, it's Intel who are playing catchup on the lower power consumption and embedded front, not the other way around.

ARM pretty much has the embedded market cornered, a market where Intel has never been able to make any significant inroads. Now that the embedded space is taking over more and more of the casual computing landscape, Intel is losing out on a huge market.

If mobile computing disappeared tomorrow, I'd be more inclined to agree with you but the way things are going at the moment, I'd put my money where the market is going, into the embedded space. In fact, if things continue the way they have been over the last 10 years, we could see Intel becoming more and more of a niche player as people's computing requirements move onto mobile and internet (I will not say cloud!) based solutions.

The only argument I've heard so far that turns that kind of situation into a win for Intel is if the internet based systems are Intel powered. That is turning out to not be the case as more and more of these systems are either Mainframe based or big iron UNIX like AIX on POWER and Solaris on SPARC.

At the moment, Intel is well aware of it's shaky future standing unless it can make some kind of headway in the embedded market. It already tried with the high end market and failed miserably. Just check out the joke that is the Itanium, we don't call it the Itanic for nothing. Unless Intel can get the Atom's power consumption to around ARM's level, they are going to be in real trouble over the next decade.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by FealDorf
by FealDorf on Fri 5th Feb 2010 15:41 UTC
FealDorf
Member since:
2008-01-07

I find it a little funny though, at one time I (and I believe others too) thought the future would be PowerPC. Personally I was more interested in PowerPC..
If Microsoft wishes to port onto ARM architecture then I want them create a new API set itself, something that supersedes Win32 and based around .NET's technologies. That way, .NET developers can easily migrate the chipset due to CLR's capabilities, and native code wouldn't be hindered, giving a great incentive to develop for Win-ARM version. That said, pipe dreams are fun. They're yet to update some of the software in Win7 itself which look like leftovers from XP..

Reply Score: 1