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Handhelds Businesses Intel

Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft 110

jfruh (300774) writes "The Wintel cartel appears to be well and truly dead, as Intel chases after ARM with grim determination into the rapidly growing world of Android tablets. 'Our mix of OSes reflects pretty much what you see in the marketplace,' the company's CEO said, a nice way of saying they see more potential growth from white-box Chinese tablet makers than from Microsoft Surface. Intel managed to ship 5 million tablet chips in the first quarter of the year, although plunging PC sales meant that company profit overall was still down."
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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

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  • Re:Is it dead? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:43PM (#46770623) Homepage

    No need to run x86. So why push x86 into the portable space?

    Kinda what I was thinking. x86 is now ancient, and unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, tend to be pretty power hungry.

    So, I guess if I want to run Windows on it, or legacy software, or have no real battery life this could be a good thing. And, really, who expects to run legacy software on a tablet?

    Or, Intel could actually try to make a lightweight/low power chip meant specifically for tablets and not try to further saddle us with an architecture which is already long in the tooth. But, apparently they've grown beyond the 'innovating' phase of a company, and are well and truly into the 'flogging a dead horse' phase.

    If you're going after Chinese white-box tablets, you're not aiming very high.

    Me, if I saw a tablet which said "Intel Inside", the tablet would still be inside the store when I left. Because, right or wrong, my perception is it's going to suck power, and it's probably going to be geared to people who want to install Windows applications.

    No thanks.

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:56PM (#46770811) Journal

    I thought Windows 8.1 was the defecto standard.

    Never have I seen a more apt typo - funny thing is, I saw a commercial last night for one of those PC repair/registry/whatever apps that practically shouted about how "Microsoft is using fear to make you buy Windows 8" (as opposed to your beloved XP box, natch.)

    It all ties back to why Intel is now (should say, now more than ever) casting about, looking for new markets for their chips... PCs ain't selling, server lifecycles are getting longer (VMWare pretty much helped stretch that out), and there's not much outside of those two which would encourage PC sales.

    (I wonder if Intel will ever stop navel-gazing at tablets and fire up their now-dead Digital Home Group [anandtech.com] again; they had a fairly decent idea with the chip-in-a-TV thing. Fun group of guys to work with as well...)

  • by stevel ( 64802 ) * on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:58PM (#46770827) Homepage

    Intel-powered Android tablets can run almost all Android-ARM apps. Those that are native ARM apps are handled through binary translation. It works very well. I've used a Dell Venue 8 (Intel CloverTrail+ Android) and did not find any apps that wouldn't run just fine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:25PM (#46771177)
    All Intel tablets currently have:
    • Completely unlocked bootloader out of the box (or unlockable with a BIOS setup switch)
    • Open source drivers for most if not all of the hardware (including GPU)
    • Hardware natively supported in upstream Linux kernel
    • Instruction set that is extremely well documented
    • Excellent battery life without resorting to frequent suspend-to-RAM

    Does any ARM tablet have any of that?
    Seriously, if you value openness and hackability, I do not see why would you ever consider an ARM tablet....

  • by stevel ( 64802 ) * on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:58PM (#46772585) Homepage

    It's done in software with hardware assist - Intel calls this technology "Houdini". Most Android apps are Dalvik which Intel has an X86-optimized implementation of. The translated apps run quite well for most purposes, but yes, there is a performance penalty. I did run some games but probably not the really compute-intensive ones. I found the performance overall quite good - at least as good as my iPad 3 - and to most users the choice of processor would be transparent. For apps which are ARM binary, a growing number are also providing X86 binaries.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban