You’d think this sort of stuff belonged to the past – but no. Apparently, Microsoft is afraid of Android on its Windows 8 tablets, because Intel has just announced that it will provide no support for Linux on its clover Trail processors. Supposedly, this chip is “designed for Windows 8”. What?
Yes, what – I think that’s a pretty reasonable reaction here. Intel has been relatively forward with its support for Linux, and I don’t think the chipmaker has ever specifically said a regular x86 chip is designed for one particular operating system. As said, the chip is regular x86, so there’s no reason it wouldn’t run Linux – sure, there are some added power states, but that’s nothing Linux can’t add support for.
Intel didn’t want to address why, specifically, it won’t support Linux, but it did explain that the operating system needs to “hint” the processor about power states, and that Linux didn’t support these. This is, of course, all smoke and mirrors; Intel could easily detail the specifications so Linux can add support for it.
As such, I would say this is nothing but a deal with Microsoft to make it harder for Android to run on this platform. While the lack of support won’t deter a single enthusiast (Linux will eventually run on this just fine), it will make it impossible for OEMs to build Clover Trail machines for Android.
It’s all pretty pathetic, really. Yet another regression in the technology industry.