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back to article Wintel must welcome Androitel and Chromtel into cosy menage – Intel

Intel and Microsoft no longer dominate the personal computing industry as the once fearsome Wintel alliance, Intel has acknowledged. Now the chip giant has announced a broad push to get its silicon into devices running Windows' rival operating systems. Intel's PC chief Kirk Skaugen admitted the demise of the ages-old alliance at …

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not sure if Antel of indroid has the same ring to it.

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Inteloid?

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Anonymous Coward

"It plans to scale Android up to 64-bit x86 processors"

Even if they get it running on Itanium it's probably still going to be laggy.....

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re: inteloid

You can get cream to soothe that condition, try Boots.

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"not sure if Antel of indroid has the same ring to it."

But people would really get confused by "Lintel"...

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Not a problem. Armux is more likely.

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Anonymous Coward

"people would really get confused by "Lintel"..."

Lintel might work. Everybody knows big Windows needs Lintels otherwise stuff collapses.

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ooooouch

Wow. Looks like Microsoft's best friend is making some new "cool" best friends instead. Surely this is a significant kick in the teeth for Microsoft. This has to be the writing on the wall for them.

Go Intel....!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

"Surely this is a significant kick in the teeth for Microsoft"

No - Microsoft already kicked Intel in the teeth by creating devices based on Arm like Windows Phone and Windows RT....

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Re: ooooouch

Don't forget the AMD chip in the Xbone...

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And the IBM Power PC one in the 360.

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Re: ooooouch

@ac - I think the fact that microsoft gave intel a cheekly slap with the tablets (partly because intel didn't have anything nearly good enough) is as you say a sign things aren't well between them. But this is a clear strategy from Intel to actively support other products and not use windows as their primary driver.

This is good news for Linux as a whole as we will no doubt see much better support for processor features (and their graphics chipsets too). However, MS will no longer have influence to make their OS run better. Intel have made that clear by their statement. Intel want to compete by being the best of breed and a primary MS strategy isn't going to help them achieve that anymore especially when Windows is no longer flavour of the month.

Looks like MS were [sort of] right "Linux is a cancer" - well it seems to *them* it is, but for the rest of us its quite the reverse - its the breath of fresh air that the IT industry needed, and actually, it looks like MS were the cancer that has been crippling the IT sector for a long while.

My opinion of course and I'm sure all the MS lovers will downvote the post but its a sinking ship my friends, there are holes opening up all over and everybody is deserting it (consumers, hardware manufacturers and I'm sure corporates will follow eventually) - just got a feeling it could be a long and drawn out process of listing before it finally sinks below the waterline.

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Re: ooooouch

Skaugen is probably right, but the Wintel partnership should not be underestimated. True, it lost the mobile war but seems pretty impregnable on the desktop, even in 2013. Content will always need to be generated and generation happens on the desktop, not the phablet. More phablets will demand more content which will require more desktops IMO.

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Re: ooooouch

Microsoft is destroying itself, by failing to understand and nurture its own business niche.

It had a near-monopoly on the business desktop. That was its niche. Even after losing the server-protocol war with the EU, Office should still have been an all-but-unassailable advantage.

So what does it do? Instead of listening to its business customers, it listens to the numerically larger number of home users who bought an MS system for lack of an alternative. then it redesigns all the interfaces to suit its idea of Joe Public (which appears to be even more drooling than Joe actually is). Office has suffered three interface redesigns in ten years, each reducing the productivity of a skilled user of office 2003. Now they've done the same to Windows.

Joe is unimpressed. There's Apple, offering a superior consumer-orientated product range at a superior price. There's a host of companies selling Android pads into the fastest-growing non-keyboard sector. Joe never had a good reason to buy Microsoft, it's just that to start with there weren't any alternatives.

What hasn't materialized yet is a really good Linux- (or Android- ) based business desktop solution set with a big corporation backing it. IBM? Apple? Oracle? Samsung? China inc.? The next young Nokia (who started off growing trees and making tractors before getting into cellphones almost by accident)? Even (long odds) a fully open community project? Whatever, when that business alternative arrives, Microsoft will be finished, because for the last decade it's given them every last reason and more to regret their dependence on Microsoft. A trickle of defections will become a flood.

It's got nothing to do with which CPU goes inside at all.

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Mushroom

Re: ooooouch

The endgame is this: Intel licenses the entire ARM product line. They can do to competing ARM licensees what they did to their x86 rivals in the 1990's - use their superior technology to create leading-edge, low-power ARM devices and destroy all other ARM rivals. Use their Celeron strategy by selling low-end ARMs at a razor-thin margins while selling ultra-high end ARMs at big fat margins.

Once Intel is the only ARM vendor in town, they hike up the price of all their ARM devices. Eventually Intel buys ARM. Game over.

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Re: ooooouch

When it comes to content creation, Apple are a big player... Wintel is mostly relegated to boring business desktops and gamers.

A big shake up will happen sooner or later, the idea of an extremely complicated system like windows being used by average users is ridiculous... Why should users be expected to manage updates for a myriad of different applications, maintain antivirus and firewall rules etc. Non technical users are better off with walled garden devices like ipads or chromeos devices.

Even business desktops will eventually ditch windows, once there are a large enough set of users running non-ms tools then interoperability becomes essential, at which point the only real advantage ms ever had is gone... If they're no longer locked in, very few businesses will choose expensive, insecure, unreliable windows, and will go for something else install - probably linux.

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Re: ooooouch

>Once Intel is the only ARM vendor in town, they hike up the price of all their ARM devices. Eventually Intel buys ARM. Game over.

Few problems with your theory. Texas Instruments has been making ICs longer than Intel. They know much better than Intel how to compete on the low end high volume thin margin range as well as some of their competitors. Intel's big advantage has always been being a generation ahead in fab technology which is great for the latest greatest but not such an advantage cost wise for high volume stuff (have to make up R&D costs after all). As for Intel buying ARM. Antitrust authorities would have a say on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

It may have worked once but this time as its a different ballgame

The number of x86 licenses are controlled by Intel themselves (although admittedly they were forced in the early period to give out some and there have been some competing compatible designs). This meant they nearly always had the upper hand.

ARM however is a totally different proposition. Anybody can build an ARM chip providing they are willing to fork out couple of million (?) or so for a license (peanuts really). It would be like whack a mole time. The only real way Intel is going to beat ARM is through simply a far better x86 product and beating them at their own game.

I also suspect there would be some regulatory hurdles for Intel to take over ARM

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Meh

Re: ooooouch

@BillG

But Intel HAD an ARM licence. They inherited it from DEC, along with DEC's StrongARM, but Intel didn't like advertising a competitors' product, so they called their fabbed version X-scale.

Unfortunately for Intel, the first few iterations were much worse performance than DEC's, so there was a drift away of users (not end users) to other ARM licensees, and Intel eventually sold off the division.

I think it's called Marvel now, BICBW.

The story is much more complex than that, but I think I've covered the essential bits.

I doubt that ARM would sell out to Intel, not in their shareholders' best interests.

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Re: ooooouch

> selling low-end ARMs at a razor-thin margins while selling ultra-high end ARMs at big fat margins.

What you may not know is that the really low-end ARM processors have been selling at around 50 cents in several thousand lots for many years. High end ARMs are cheaper than Celerons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

"Don't forget the AMD chip in the Xbone..."

That is at least an x64 chip and not an Arm one....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

"It had a near-monopoly on the business desktop."

It still does.

"then it redesigns all the interfaces to suit its idea of Joe Public"

It redesigned them to suit tablets and mobile devices with touch and gesture controls - which are the future - Microsoft are ahead of the curve for once here....

"Office has suffered three interface redesigns in ten years, each reducing the productivity of a skilled user of office 2003."

But increasing the productivity of the majority of users that have moved on from Office 2003...

"There's Apple, offering a superior consumer-orientated product range at a superior price"

LOL - OS-X has over 2000 known vulnerabilities, is far more limited in capabilities and features. WTF - superior prices? Have you ever seen the prices of Apple products? They are vastly more expensive than equivalents that run Windows...

"What hasn't materialized yet is a really good Linux- (or Android- ) based business desktop solution set with a big corporation backing it. IBM?"

There are proven options in the Linux space - for instance Munich Council are migrating from a legacy desktop environment to Linux backed by IBM. However the project cost tens of millions, and they are still migrating after 10 years! And whilst the project has achieved some savings in operating costs (excluding the migration costs), those savings would have been even greater migrating to a modern Windows version! So there is zero reason for corporates to move - Windows works well, users are used to it, and the TCO is lower than the alternatives in most enterprise environments...

As to Android?! I can't see that ever making it onto corporate desktops. Linux itself already has very high vulnerabilities counts, and Java as a UI is catastrophically unsafe! Just look at the Malware issues that it already has....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

"I think it's called Marvel now, BICBW."

Close. Add another L: Marvell. I'd not heard about the performance drop but the rest sounds accurate.

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Re: ooooouch

> And whilst the project has achieved some savings in operating costs (excluding the migration costs), those savings would have been even greater migrating to a modern Windows version!

I don't know whether you are uninformed, lying, or merely confused:

"""By switching from Windows to LiMux, its own Linux distribution, the German city of Munich has saved over €11 million ($14.3 million) to date compared to the costs of a similar migration to a more modern Microsoft-based IT infrastructure."""

http://www.itworld.com/operating-systems/321474/switching-linux-saves-munich-over-11-million

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Re: ooooouch

Given the last uptake rate I saw for the Surface, I think it's the relative market share, not MS perfidy, that got Intel thinking about Windows alternatives in the tablet category.

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Intel always dumpt their non-x86 business

Intel has had a long list of dabblings with other business units, processors etc. So far they have ended up dumping everything that isn't x86.

8080, 8051, 80251, 960: All "killer" architectures in their time. But what does Intel do? They cut these off at the knees meaning that the companies that built product on these were left high and dry (except for the 8051 where other suppliers were licensed).

They had a great StrongARM/PXA line in ARM. They were king of the ARM pile.... and sold it to Marvell who stopped further development.

Same pretty much for their flash, ARM and other tech.

Unsuprisingly, designers are hestitant to design in Intel. Many would consider it gross negligence to leave a company exposed to Intel changing its mind and abandoning a CPU.

They only design in Intel to be able to run PC-like software. If Intel came up with a new wonder chip for embedded, it would have to have some very compelling features or nobody would touch it.

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Roo
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Re: ooooouch

Skaugen is probably right, but the Wintel partnership should not be underestimated. True, it lost the mobile war but seems pretty impregnable on the desktop, even in 2013.

"Content will always need to be generated and generation happens on the desktop, not the phablet. More phablets will demand more content which will require more desktops IMO."

Your opinion is drawn from incomplete data. While you may well be correct that more desktops will be needed to make more content, currently the vast majority of Desktop PCs are used to consume content - and it's this vast majority that is getting shit-canned.

Some people at Microsoft had the right idea with Win Mobile & the tablet PC efforts - but the execution was intentionally bolloxed - probably so it didn't eat into the desktop margins. Whatever else you say about Jobs he wasn't afraid of the new gear shredding the legacy box shifting effort, and that is why Apple are sitting on a huge pile of cash.

Meanwhile Microsoft flounder around as their ever loyal Excel fanbois yell about how they are too stupid to learn how to use alternative tools. The world is passing them all by, even in finance high frequency trading is now responsible for the majority of trades made, people slotting Excel into the critical path would lose a lot of money.

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Roo
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Re: ooooouch

"Texas Instruments has been making ICs longer than Intel. They know much better than Intel how to compete on the low end high volume thin margin range as well as some of their competitors."

Not sure where you are going with TI, but last I heard they had shitcanned the OMAP roadmap - they didn't do very well at low end or high end on that front. Releasing fatally wounded silicon late might have had something to do with it, or perhaps they weren't able to adapt to the shift of manufacturing from the West+Japan -> Korea/China.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

""""By switching from Windows to LiMux, its own Linux distribution, the German city of Munich has saved over €11 million ($14.3 million) to date compared to the costs of a similar migration to a more modern Microsoft-based IT infrastructure.""""

That's simply not true. An Independent study by HP showed that it cost at least €30 million MORE to move to Linux - much of which was eaten by IBM - but still - and the claims on Windows TCO are also untrue - they still have to use Windows when they need to do real work like use a version of office that actually works - via Citrix - and those costs are also not counted in their 'gains'....The massaged numbers were released by the Linux focused team running this ten year shambles so go figure...

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Re: ooooouch

> That's simply not true. An Independent study by HP showed that it cost at least €30 million MORE to move to Linux

That 'study' was _NOT_ indepenent, it was funded by Microsoft.

http://www.itworld.com/open-source/337658/microsoft-wont-release-study-challenged-success-munichs-linux-migration

And Microsoft probably funded your lies too.

Given that Munich is aware of what it spends and what it would to have spent it knows the 'study' is wrong:

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/City-of-Munich-disagrees-with-HP-s-Linux-migration-study-1797232.html

> - much of which was eaten by IBM -

Which is denied by IBM.

> but still - and the claims on Windows TCO are also untrue - they still have to use Windows when they need to do real work like use a version of office that actually works - via Citrix - and those costs are also not counted in their 'gains'....The massaged numbers were released by the Linux focused team running this ten year shambles so go figure...

No. Munich itself released the real numbers.

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Re: ooooouch

"As to Android?! I can't see that ever making it onto corporate desktops. Linux itself already has very high vulnerabilities counts, and Java as a UI is catastrophically unsafe! Just look at the Malware issues that it already has...."

Funny, Windows managed to get onto corporate desktops and look at the vast ocean of malware for that

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Holmes

Re: ooooouch

> But Intel HAD an ARM licence. They inherited it from DEC, along with

> DEC's StrongARM, but Intel didn't like advertising a competitors' product,

> so they called their fabbed version X-scale.

That was flubbed marketing. Intel spent $35M trying to sell the XScale the same way they sell their PC processors, and you can't sell to Embedded that way. Plus, Intel has dramatically exited the embedded space only a few years earlier, hiking up prices for x196 and x386 embedded chips as they left, making lots of people angry.

With multi-core Cortex-M4 chips, ARM licensees are now into markets that Intel knows how to compete in.

All things being equal, in semiconductors superior process technology always wins out in the long run.

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Re: ooooouch

Bang on Nigel 11. The business desktop tends to get overlooked. By Microsoft. But Redmond has no competition on that market, whereas in the domestic market, they have.

"... based business desktop solution set with a big corporation backing it. IBM? Apple? Oracle? Samsung? China inc.?"

That would be an opportunity for Red Hat surely.

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Alert

Re: ooooouch

> What you may not know is that the really low-end ARM processors have been

> selling at around 50 cents in several thousand lots for many years.

You're going to have to show me a part number for that ARM. I know there are plenty of 8-bitters in that price range, even an ST7 that sells for 40 cents. But whatever it is it's a good bet that Intel can make it for cheaper because like Microchip their process technology is paid for many times over.

> High end ARMs are cheaper than Celerons.

What's your point, Captain Obvious?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ooooouch

"With multi-core Cortex-M4 chips, ARM licensees are now into markets that Intel knows how to compete in."

Really? Intel knows how to keep Dell happy (and maybe SuperMicro). HP are already off the nothing-but-x86-matters message with project Moonshot which allegedly will have product next year.

"in semiconductors superior process technology always wins out in the long run."

Only works if you can fill the fabs at a profit.

How are Intel going to fill the x86-optimised fabs, let alone run them profitably, once x86 is no longer a mass market product?

They probably won't be able to do contract work, they'll be too expensive compared with others already in that market.

They might even struggle to afford another 2 generations of fab (they've plenty of cash for now, but...)

I know it could happen, it already happened to Alpha at DEC - lovely chip, co-designed between software, hardware and process teams, but they couldn't get the volume, it never got beyond niche (despite being quite nice technically).

Same is about to happen with Intel themselves, with IA64 (not that it was technically elegant).

There are now more places to get an Alpha system emulator (to run under Windows or Linux) than there were ever places to buy a real Alpha chip to build into a system. Because some people want to keep their existing systems alive, and The Chip Inside is far from their first priority.

Not enough volume => chips too expensive => no money for next generation investment => RIP. Sure as night follows day (unless you're IBM).

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Anonymous Coward

Thats because its armdroid... I don't think Intel are fairing any better in this than Microsoft....

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Anonymous Coward

Take a look at these:

http://www.mc.co.th/products/view/2108/egreat-android-tv-box-quad-core-gpu-1-6ghz

It's a quad core, 2GB ram, flash card (+8GB built in), Android computer, that drives a TV or screen at 1080p.

I plugged a Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse combo in and it behaves like a PC, with cursor and all, 3D games, all the software you use normally. Only its tiny, and quiet, and dirt cheap, and simple to use, and comes with a remote.

This is where the market is heading.

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@ Anonymous Coward, 22nd November 2013 09:46 GMT

http://www.mc.co.th/products/view/2108/egreat-android-tv-box-quad-core-gpu-1-6ghz

I think an AppleTV sells for 3300 at MBK in Bangkok, so the price is not "cheap", but I admit that it might be fun to have, except that domestic internet in Thailand is very possibly worse than it is in Australia (a hard act, I know).

Support for USB keyboard/mouse and USB harddisk make this an alternative to a similar setup based on RasberyPi. I might pick one up and have a play with it. Run XBMC and I should be good to go.

The RasberyPi route might be cheaper/better though. I am still investigating.

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Intel - Smintel

Intel have been the 5000lb Gorilla for such a long time that it can only be healthy for the market in general that they lose some of their position.

Intel were/are worse the MS for imposing their manner of doing things......They have been far to dominating..

MS are also feeling the same pinch, good , it was long overdue.

Intel and MS both have some excellent products but they are both in dire need of eating some more humble pie.

Google and Apple also need to take into account the same scenario because it appears that they are heading down the same path.

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Re: Intel - Smintel

It's going to be OK. Intel is still in "Windows first" mode and Microsoft still has the glacial pace of the prior era when they could hold back progress by fiat. As long as those two things remain true there is no chance that Intel will be able to iterate fast enough to compete in the new mobile-first era.

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Happy

Hey EU, are you listening?

I want an OS choice button on my desktop, and I want it now!

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Re: Hey EU, are you listening?

On your desktop? And on which operating system desktop would that be on?

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Re: Hey EU, are you listening?

I already have one. It's called Grub.

Doesn't make any of the software work outside of Windows though.

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Re: Hey EU, are you listening? (@Ishtiaq)

And on which operating system desktop would that be on?

Either on an EFI menu or in a icon on each OS available, for restarting the machine in the desired OS. It could be also on some kind of hypervisor.

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Re: Hey EU, are you listening?

The one and only time that I will suggest an Oracle solution

Oracle VirtualBox ( icons instead of buttons and it works )

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In many ways Intel have only themselves to blame. The x86 instruction set is horrible to use, overall quite inefficient and has a large overhead compared to instruction sets that were designed rather more recently or have retained a cleaner implementation. IMHO it's the backwards compatibility of the x86 instruction set that while being an amazing strength for desktop computing has prohibited the use in leaner and more efficient devices.

I'm still sadistic enough to occasionally step through code at the instruction set level...

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Headmaster

Re: sadistic

Masochistic surely?

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They lost the plot when they didn't push itanium properly. A hairy beast designed for compiler writers, but that's not a bad thing. amd64 is yech and spit and horrible.

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Re: sadistic

Depends on whether you are reading it in private or are walking the 'programmers' through the ASM generated by their high-level languages...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: lost the plot

"They lost the plot when they didn't push itanium properly. "

They pushed IA64 as hard as they could, technologically and commercially.

Still only a tiny subset of the market was interested.

Sensible people buy systems to run software on. People largely bought Integrity servers *despite* IA64, not *because of* IA64. They wanted to stick with the OS they knew and loved. Unfortunately although HP ported the OS, they didn't persuade many application or infrastructure vendors to follow (just look at the HP vs Oracle fuss, where HP have now been shown to be, well let's be honest, LYING about IA64 EOL).

Ditto the Tandem NonStop folk. They want to run their NonStop stuff and the underlying hardware is of little interest as long as it's Good Enough. They got rid of their need for special chip features many years ago. Fortunately for them, they've had a last minute reprieve, their software will be ported onto "yech and spit and horrible amd64" (the one which has, unlike IA64, become "industry standard 64").

Are there specific things about AMD64 you don't like? Or is it just that it showed Intel and HP execs up to be a bunch of incompetent liars and charlatans? How many times did we hear Intel say "an x86-64 is technically impossible, you need IA64" and then out came AMD64 and suddenly Intel had one too.

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