Microsoft got some more bad news today: Intel is porting Android 2.2, née Froyo, to the x86 architecture. "Our expectation is that [native x86 Android] will be based on the Froyo release and will be available this summer to developers," no lesser light than Renee James, Intel's software and services head honchette, told APC on …
Been waiting for this to build my carpc up it's ideal :)
Link to shonky pre release beta versions please
So Intel is going to try and field two OS's.
Three, not two
It is unclear where Intel own SDK for media devices and its media PU which is to pair with Atom in embedded kit stands related to this. It is in use by a number of STB and embedded device manufacturers. So this makes the number of OS-es 3, not 2.
"And then there was MeeGo." Harsh but fair ;-)
Stupid name any ways LOL...
Good news, at least for Java
Since Android's core API is Java based all current Android apps will be able to run without recompile, and more importantly being x86 a full J2SE stack can be included. If intel has any smarts they would ship with a J2SE version with this distro. Its funny, years ago I always thought that had a Linux distro just made the core coding APIs Java based, it would quickly become dominant, and now that's exactly what's going on.
Intel opts not to go down with the WinTel ship
A wise choice, as it looks like that ship's going down with or without Intel inside. MSFT is down a hair less than 20% in the past two months, while AAPL keeps hitting all-time highs. Six more months of that takes Microsoft completely out of the driver's seat - a position they'll find tough to get back into.
Android/X86 on the client is cool and all - or at least it will be when the next generation of Moorestown SOCs get here. It puts an Intel chip in almost everything.
Where this plays really well is in virtual desktops. Android is Linux based and lightweight so as a VDI desktop VM it should be completely awesome - maybe 3-500 VMs on one dual Westmere server. With no/low licensing cost that puts the whole VDI proposition over very easily and it's a good leveraging of the superlative high-end processing of the Xeon processors at an end where the ARMs can't keep up. I'm actually going to be demoing this usage as soon as possible after FroYo/X86 comes out. This amount of leverage makes cloud desktop hosting reasonable for consumers and private clouds economically feasible for the enterprise. With the right remote desktop software the multitouch thing can pass through gracefully and they can start with iPads until the Android 2.2 slates are shipping and awesome.
Then there's the cool things you can do with software. With the right software any number of Android + Intel powered HDTVs, slates, projectors, wireless keyboards, wireless drafting tablets, thin clients with multiple high-resolution displays and more can all be integrated into one person's workflow. People can do things like pass live application windows from one wireless device to another, or even one user to another with a gesture, or share one application window with multiple people who can all interact with it at the same time. How many? All of them. You can make a video wall of anything at all.
Android is Linux of course, so your high-end engineering applications still work if you're the type who needs the horsepower on your desk - and all the engineer types can join a compute resource pool and share their spare compute cycles with whoever needs it at the moment. Finally. Of course fast networking will help make this facility useful.
With the vast influx of users, we draw the developers of course. And all the apps we need get ported over. It shouldn't take more than a year or two for a .NET -> python converter of some sort, and won't that draw some huge sales?
Suddenly we get dynamic growth in innovation again, instead of buying the same old stuff over and over. This is almost certainly something all the non-Apple hardware vendors can get behind. They have to compete with Apple, right now, or go away forever. There is no third choice. X86 is something they understand well, and the Android thing they can clue up on fast enough - they've been supporting Linux and playing with Android for quite a long time - they've just been muted about it for the obvious reasons.
Have we seen the end of "Intel Giveth, and Microsoft taketh away"? It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all.
Intel and Microsoft have long been allies in the traditional sense: "Two peaople with their hands so deep into each other's pockets that they can't separate". Intel has relied on Microsoft to deliver near-monopolistic x86-only software and Microsoft has relied on Intel to keep producing ever-faster processors, so Microsoft can continue the cheap and simple route of keeping their software single-platform platform.
In many ways, this has limited the flexibility of both companies: Microsoft does not have a cheap migration plan should x86 stop being competitive and Intel has little hope of keeping their dominance if Windows goes into decline or becomes multi-platform. Hence, these rather desperate attempts by Intel to move beyond the Windows platform. They might even succeed -- they certainly has the advantage that a lot of (non-Microsoft) software on x86 processors can migrate fairly easily across operating systems.
Beta wanted.... :-)
There is some older 1.6 Android x86 for downloader here:
It works on VirtualBox, but did not play too well with the video driver on my netbook, the OS was running but the screen was garbled.
I'm sure intels 2.2 will run just fine on my Intel netbook. Can't wait/.
Forward the Penguin Army!
(Yes, i know 'droid is not a try Linux distro (yet))
Recently I have had two suffer two upgrades. The first to Ubuntu 10.04 (yeah, I know it's not 'droid) and the second to Windows 7.
Did Lucid annoy and frustrate me? Yeah, a bit. But I'm used to it now, even the window buttons (although I move those if the mood took me). It does everything I need, I can mount .ISOs natively, get to what I want in a few clicks, run Flash and have a full-power CLI if I need it.
Windows7 on the other hand...oh dear god...what a horror. The new Explorer is simply terrible (although I quite like the new address bar that I have got used to it) but almost everything else is inconsistent/horrible. The Admin challenge is, frankly, infantile and pointless as it does not ask for a password. Actions are constantly blocked for no reason (trying to copy from the network to C:\? Good luck!). Actions that should be challenged, aren't (e.g. hacking around with Environment Variables). Flash fails to run. Too much real estate is lost to the task bar and windows borders. Why the FECK do IE tabs appear as separate items on the task bar? Two clicks to get to the current tab? WTF? At least FF behaves itself. Getting to deeper system options is tortuous. It is, frankly, the worst version of Windows since ME I have ever had to encounter (I avoided Vista).
My advice? Stick with XP until 2014 and then go to a Linux distro (maybe "Ylmf"). *DO NOT* inflict Win7 on your end users.