Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Jun 2008 19:58 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems For year now, the x86 microprocessor market has been dominated by Intel and AMD, and the rivalry between the two companies forced both to be innovative in order to gain a competitive advantage over the other - benefiting customers. With the rise of 'mobile internet devices' and low-power budget notebooks, this new market will be enriched by not only Via, but also nVIDIA.
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alexandru_lz
Member since:
2007-02-11

Yes, but porting code from x86 to ia64 or x86-64 is fairly easy, since the two architectures are reasonably similar. As long as these small-ish devices keep an architecture that has 86 in its name, I hardly think it will lack third party software. Porting Windows to something that has nothing to do with x86, like PPC, ARM and so on -- now that's something.

If we were to talk just about the operating system, Windows CE/Mobile is a fair solution, especially since the development tools are quite good.

Reply Parent Score: 1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"Porting Windows to something that has nothing to do with x86, like PPC, ARM and so on -- now that's something. "

Windows used, and still, runs on the PPC, I doubt that it would take a massive effort to re-port it. A version of Windows runs on the xbox 360, which is a 3 core PPC design, it just runs a different userspace.

Edited 2008-06-06 20:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

ba1l Member since:
2007-09-08

The Xbox 360 is really not using Windows. It has a kernel based on the Xbox OS, which in turn was loosely based on the lowest-level basic parts of the Windows NT 5 kernel. By now, it's less closely related to desktop Windows than Windows CE is.

Anyway, the problem isn't that the kernel isn't portable. The problem is that the drivers and userland are not portable. Without it's huge base of existing software, Windows is effectively worthless. An ARM version of Windows could do nothing more than run the default included apps. An ARM version of Linux can do everything an x86 version can, except run the Flash plugin, Wine, and commercial games.

Even if you're selling the thing as an appliance, so third-party software doesn't matter, Microsoft are the only ones who could legally offer an appliance-style version of Windows. They don't - you'd have to use one of their desktop systems. At least with Linux, hardware manufacturers can roll their own.

That's ignoring WinCE, of course, but there's not a lot in the way of pre-existing Windows CE software to work with. A hardware manufacturer might write their own UI, but I doubt they'd write their own office suite or web browser.

Edited 2008-06-07 12:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1