Home > Microsoft > Microsoft Looks Within to Design and Test Chips Microsoft Looks Within to Design and Test Chips Thom Holwerda 2006-10-19 Microsoft 19 Comments For more than two decades, Microsoft’s software and Intel’s processors were so wedded that the pairing came to be known as Wintel. But as that computing era wanes, Microsoft is turning to a new source of chip design: its own labs. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 19 Comments 2006-10-19 9:58 pm sbenitezb …Microsoft has opened its first fast food shop. 2006-10-19 11:12 pm Shadowmane Why would Microsoft turn to its own labs to come up with chips? Are they planning on pulling an Apple? I doubt it, but if they did, where would that leave players like Dell, HP and other major computer vendors? 2006-10-20 12:10 am Mellin Microsoft could sell it to them and make a windows only platform to lock users from installing linux/bsd 2006-10-20 9:54 am rhyder I doubt that Bill would deliberately fix things in that way. It’s just that he has nothing but bad luck with issues of this sort. Even if he were contemplating such a thing, he knows that the US authorities such as the DOJ will politely ask him not to do it any more and he hardly wants that. 2006-10-20 6:05 pm kamiko Why would Microsoft turn to its own labs to come up with chips? because they can? seriously, they have the money and the playroom to experiment with different hardware designs, that they think might be of benefit. Are they planning on pulling an Apple? i don’t think so, but they might try to put the next xbox into that position [of course while leaving the traditional markets intact]. it’s a perfect play field to experiment with all kinds of hw & os designs, as it’s normally build from scratch anyway. …where would that leave players like Dell, HP and other major computer vendors? for hw non-xbox tech – it would leave them on the side of licensees. 2006-10-20 1:22 am plague considering what an unstable, buggy, bloated, virus ridden mess Windows is, would you really want a Microsoft created hardware to go with it? Noooooo thanks… 2006-10-20 12:13 pm brewmastre First let me start off by saying that I am a Mac Zealot That aside. I think it would be great to see Windows running on custom hardware. Finally MS would have some control over what people are putting their OS on. I’m not a control freak by any means, but I do think that control over such things is important. Windows is, as you put it, “unstable, buggy, bloated, virus ridden mess” , and this could finally be their chance to fix that. All other OS’s pale in comparison to Windows when it come to hardware support, yes I know Linux and NetBSD will run on toasters, but I mean true hardware support, peripherals and all. Because of this I think they are constantly trying to keep everything running happy no matter what HW you throw at it and it ends up resulting in an OS that is a piecemealed pile of junk. If they only have a few varieties of hardware to worry about, maybe that can focus on the things that actually matter: Stability, security, cutting edge features, the user, etc. 2006-10-20 1:03 pm gubol123 In other words you are an brain dead user… 2006-10-20 3:07 pm brewmastre at least if you’re going to insult me, use proper grammar a brain dead user, not ‘an brain dead user’ And no, I enjoy all OS’s not just OSX. Windows could be a great system if they would just a have a little better grasp on what is going on in the computer industry. OSX and Linux and years ahead of Windows because MS is too busy keeping up with hardware changes to be able to focus on whats important. Maybe some new hardware would be good for them. And you know it wouldn’t take long for Linux to run on it 2006-10-20 1:55 am fluffybunny The xbox360 microprocessor is just the first step for them. I think it’s high time that all the other vendors start going in to MS’s teritorry by creating operating systems to go against MS Windows. 2006-10-20 3:12 pm BluenoseJake That’s a great idea, nobody has ever tried that before….. Seriously, lots have tried, no one has succeeded, it’s not because of lack of effort or technical reasons, it’s because of Windows coming on every new PC, the integration with office, and it’s compatibilty with older apps, not to mention the anti-competitive behavior MS has shown in the past. OS X is a great OS, for example, but it has never gotten over 10% marketshare, because people believe it is so different and won’t run what they need, even though this is not actually the case 2006-10-20 3:50 am StychoKiller <humor>Will it also run DOS?</humor> 2006-10-20 7:54 am Ulrich The only thing left for them is to provide the electricity for the computers. 2006-10-20 9:40 am RandomGuy MS has a lot of money it needs to reinvest. It seems they’re beginning to see that just throwing more money at their software development problems will not solve them. So they need to spread their business to other areas. “There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. You know what it is? A virus.” Maybe this move will really benefit them because they are less likely to suffer from “not invented here”- syndrom in this case. 2006-10-20 3:13 pm BluenoseJake “There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. You know what it is? A virus.” Humans actually display the same characteristic. 2006-10-22 2:12 pm dylansmrjones Heh.. “There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. You know what it is? A virus.” && Humans actually display the same characteristic. == Interesting line of thinking… we’re a virus (actually, it does make sense). 2006-10-20 2:48 pm anevilyak Except IBM designed Xenon, not MS. 2006-10-20 4:01 pm Hands “Voice is big,” Mr. Thacker said. “You can throw as much technology at it as you want to.” I read this as an implication that they are planning on creating some very specialized hardware. I think that is the same direction that the rest of the industry is moving in, but coming from MS I’m not sure how it all might pan out. By doing this, MS could give governments (even the U.S.) ever more reasons to think of them as a monopoly that should be regulated or possibly broken up. If this were being done by a pre-convicted-monopolistic MS, I would assume that they even intended to make their hardware very unfriendly to any software that wasn’t blessed by MS. With the more cautious MS of today, I think it’s anyone’s guess what they might try with in-house developed hardware. I’m not trying to be a conspiracy theorist. This just seems like something of a mine field that MS is stepping into considering both their past and present. 2006-10-20 5:00 pm Flatland_Spider This is supposed to be a kinder gentler Microsoft, so I don’t know. I doubt they would get more anti-trust stuff added on. As long as they were the only ones who sold their style of PCs then I don’t see the problem, and besides MS doesn’t have that great of a track record of selling PC hardware. Everything is pretty vague at the moment, and we would really need to see what sort of ideas these guys start working on. It could be something as innocent as a co-processor for AMD’s Torrenza initiative, or as insidious as a bios that only installs windows. We’ll see what they come up with.