back to article Intel answers Microsoft's Linux 'noise' with MeeGo show

Microsoft and Intel are fighting for the affections of hardware makers as the PC industry tries to answer Apple's iPad. The world's biggest software company used the annual Computex show in Taiwan to release a preview of Windows Embedded Compact 7 — the latest rebranded version of Windows CE, which has been promised on tablets …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Today I talked to an Intel marketing guy

    I was quite frank. Jobs is calling the end of the PC. Lots of people are asking for VDI. VDI clients are available for iPad, but not for W7 - no W7 tablets are due out this year. This is a new way of working. We can go about our business without being chained to our desktops.

    He (paraphrased): We don't like that. We make a lot of money on desktops.

    Me (paraphrased): What if it's not up to you? What if somebody else replaces the desktop without you?

    At that point he was interrupted, and somehow we never got back to it.

    I love that guy. He gave me very important information, though he doesn't know it. The giant is much easier to kill while he's sleeping.

    1. Rob

      Jobs the knob

      There's as much chance that the end of the PC will come around as there is in the death of books, there's just some things people like to have.

      Me and my wife use laptops on a daily basis in the living room, but I still have a hulking quad core 64bit beast tower case PC for all the eye watering stuff I like to do like games and video editing. I know I can do the editing on my laptop but that would also require me to hook up an external drive and a larger screen. There is also some psychology involved in keeping people chained to their desktops that businesses will want to keep.

      People and market forces will keep the desktop alive through my lifetime, what OS they will all be mostly running is another story though.

    2. Nuke

      @"Today I talked to an Intel marketing guy"

      Funny, but you sound just like a marketing guy yourself.

      But yes, portable devices will replace desktop PCs like portable TVs have replaced heavy, oversized stand TVs. Oh hang on .......

  2. Paolo Marini


    "The world's biggest software company..." - that would be Apple now... in case you missed the recent news, Microsoft is now the second-biggest software company...

    and don't start saying that Apple is a hardware one because Microsoft also makes Zune, Xbox, joysticks, webcams, keyboards and so on...

    1. Ian 70

      Don't confuse size

      with value

      1. Graham Dawson

        And don't confuse either...

        with market cap. MS is still bigger in terms of size, markets and asset value. Apple just has a big share bubble going at the moment and it'll shrink back somewhat once the new toy smell has faded.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      No, you're wrong, and the others who've tried correcting you are too. Apple is a *hardware* company. Microsoft is the biggest *software* company.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        to make your point even easier to understand...

        Apple is a hardware company that has a nice sideline in software. Microsoft is a software compant with a nice sideline in hardware. It not rocket surgery!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "and don't start saying that Apple is a hardware one because Microsoft also makes Zune, Xbox, joysticks, webcams, keyboards and so on..."

      Apple is a hardware company that also sells software.. both theirs and others. Microsoft is a Software company that also sells hardware. Lots of Fanbois make that mistake! lol

  3. VS Dude

    Here we go again!

    As much as I'd love to see Linux do *something* with itself in the consumer computing market (not counting Google's version of it ala Android) a Windows Embedded Compact 7 (WEC7) OS with the capabilities attributed to it by this article would offer a familiar face and apps to a new genre of computing tool.

    These are indeed exciting (and frustrating) times for consumers. More than ever before we need to really think about future-proofing our purchases - even if that means doing without the "brand new" while we wait for the "best of breed" to come into its own. Google's Chrome OS, Android, iPhone 4.0 and now WEC7 and Linux all competing for our love and attention! I say hold onto your money folks - 2011 is going to be an amazing year for tech hounds!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you might be right

      I'm really warming to Android as a platform, and will likely treat myself to one of those inexpensive Android tablets (with a card slot!), when there's a decent selection to play with out there.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Roll your own?

      Well, you could roll your own Linux phone with a GE863-PRO3-64-LI --- at least the product name doesn't sound like they're trying to be cute! (It's a GSM/GPRS "modem" with an ARM CPU, Linux, Python, 64Mb, TCP/IP stack.) I've no connection with them, just spotted them on the web recently and thought it looks an interesting way to make a phone.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Meh, Meego

    Installed it on my netbook to try, and it's a shiny, braindead pile of fail. Keeps dropping the network, the video drivers are a lot worse than I had under umbongo.

    The interface is wretched, and it's stuffed with tonnes of really terrible default "integrated" clients that cover most protocols really badly, missing loads of features. The default repos are devoid of good alternatives, and it's not immediately obvious how to pop open a terminal to fix things (other than going to virtual tty1, obviously).

    So, as a drool-proof vertical platform, it's nowhere near as slick or nice as Android (I'm used to 2.1 with HTC sense, which is surprisingly nice), nor is it any good as a computer interface (I am a debian/umbongo and ex-slackware user, and occasional MacOS and 'doze monkey).

    Moreoever, I am disinclined to trust any platform that Nokia have any hand in at all, having being burned by useless crashing series 60 phones, defective software to talk to them, and the unmitigated horror of the Ovi store. Fuck Nokia right in the ear, with bells on.

    "Meego" is also an offensively lame name- like something Steve "Uncle Fester" Ballmer might deem "cool". Actually, the faux-quirky cartoons during install, saying "Meego is cool", do look like the sort of corporate dad-dancing branding that brought us "Bing", now I think of it.

    Goodness, that was a lot of nerd rage, wasn't it? I should probably have that first coffee off the day. Apologies, everyone.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge


      I haven't encountered MeeGo. But Maemo has a lot to recommend it: a real Linux base that "just works" (meaning no need to look "under the hood"), with a skin designed very nicely for the small screen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, Maemo is nice

        ..and pleasant to use. However, the fact that it was essentially killed as a platform before the N900 even hit the shelves doesn't bode well- given Nokia's total inability to support anything properly recently.

  5. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Where's the EU when you REALLY need em?

    Microsoft has used a lot of foul tactics to move Linux away from the netbook ... I do not expect the US DOJ to do anything, but the EU must intervene immediately .... well, I guess it is already too late ... :-(

    I cannot even find a single netbook with Linux on the high street, how come?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      why should the EU second guess the consumer?

      this isn't about the EU, unless you think they should prop up Linux distros like they do Opera.

      this is about consumers actually wanting something they can use without having to recompile kernels or get scared half to death about warnings that the WiFi driver they are about to install isn't released under the GPL so it may violate your dog

      Linux on a server is fine. It doesn't have to be friendly and cute. Linux on the desktop is still an unmitigated disaster because it's driven by engineers on a mission rather than people who need to sell consumer electronics.

      the reason the iPad is getting traction is that it's drop dead simple. Turn it on and use it.

      WinXP Tablet Edition, Vista with Tablet Pack, Win7 (with integrated Touch) are okay in theory but there are just about zero apps (have you ever tried to use Outlook on a 7" screen without a keyboard?!) so it's dead in the water

      1. Freddie

        @AC 14:38

        Aww Cute! Another user who's clearly not used linux in the last decade. I'm not saying meego's the dog's, but really, wipe the spittle off the monitor and go outside in the sun.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What "foul tactics"?

      I keep hearing people make claims about all the nasty stuff that Microsoft is doing to kill Linux on Netbooks, but I've never seen any even vaguely credible evidence.

      I'm pretty sure that that's not because Microsoft is a super-secret organization that can keep all details of it's nefarious deeds out of the public eye. I'm pretty sure it's because the manufacturers of these devices can't sell enough of the Linux based devices to make it worth the effort. The license costs for bulk OEM licenses are not that significant compared to the additional support costs.

      If the only evidence you can point to that Microsoft engaged in "foul tactics" is other people that don't like Microsoft on principle claiming that Microsoft is engaged in foul tactics, then the EU isn't going to waste it's time and our tax money, pandering to your prejudices.

  6. Robert Ramsay

    Linux on Netbooks

    *Still* Linux isn't doing itself any favours. I installed the Ubuntu Netbook Remix onto my brand new Asus 1005P - and they still can't get the wi-fi working by default! It's ok for me - I fixed it, but I had to recompile the drivers(!) to do it.

    Unless there is a single platform (like the iPad) which everyone buys, I can't imagine MeeGo being any different.

    1. Mark 65

      Same old story

      I don't know for definite, but with that being a reasonably recent Netbook I'd guess that windows would need a driver disk for the wi-fi. It's the same old story of linux getting the blame because the manufacturers don't release the drivers so some poor sod has to reverse engineer them etc. Not sure on the recompile but I've certainly had to download a .fw file to fix wi-fi on a PC. Windows 7 wouldn't work with it and the manufacturer wouldn't update the driver.

      Most things don't work in their entirety out of the box, but of all the (multi hardware) OSes linux comes closest.

      What's my point? It is that most people never witness the problems with PCs because the OS is pre-installed. Get your average user to have to install windows on their hardware and they might be similarly peeved that they need to work through a pile of driver disks because things don't "just work". The only one immune to this is Apple because they control the permutations and you and I pay the premium for that.

      1. Chemist

        Re : Same old story

        Certainly EEEBuntu installed on my Asus 900 without any probs. Wireless worked perfectly

        1. Big-nosed Pengie


          Brilliant. One of the best things about Linux is that you can get distros specifically designed for your hardware. I've been running Eeebuntu on my 901 for 12 months - flawless.

  7. ColonelClaw

    I think I've just spotted Microsoft's problem

    "Microsoft released Windows Embedded Compact 7 preview with a tough message for Linux: Windows will win the heart of PC makers"

    Er, shouldn't that say "win the heart of PC customers"? Or are they not important?

  8. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Netbook with Linux on the high street

    Is there a Maplin on your high street?

    They used to have the UBISurfer thingy with Linux. Not sure now though. They have several Windows CE devices. Actually I saw one in Sainsburys too for kiddies (CE 5). describes someone shopping for, specifically, a Windows netbook with a rebate for not using the Windows licence. The major high street companies named didn't give very satisfactory answers. An independent computer shop may be a better bet, if only because they're more likely to be selling a job lot of something cheap from China with no processor that you ever heard of.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @ Paolo Marini

    "The world's biggest software company..." - that would be Apple now... in case you missed the recent news, Microsoft is now the second-biggest software company...

    Wrong Apple are the biggest tech firm (well according to the odd share prices that's all) they are not the largest 'software' firm.

  10. jim 45

    we just have to adapt

    The highly portable tablet will replace the desktop PC and associated keyboard and monitor. But first, human eyes and hands will have to be modified to match the ergonomics of the new platform.

  11. sherbey

    re: what 'foul tactics'?

    A while ago, when netbooks first launched, I bought an eee 701 with xandros linux. And its been pretty good, all round - though I got a bit fed up with the original xandros after a while and installed ubuntu instead (asus weren't updating the repositories after the first few months). I was recently in the market for an nvidia ion based netbook, and looked about for a linux based one with absolutely no success. As far as I can see, it is impossible now to buy a linux based laptop or for that matter any linux based PC without jumping through hoops. If there was no cost difference I'd still prefer not to have windows, and I can't be the only consumer in that position. Where is the consumer choice here?

    The evidence is pretty strong that microsoft have used their dominant market position to strongarm all the major PC manufacturers to only install windows. Use your eyes, anonymous coward. Try walking down Tottenham Court Rd to buy a PC with anything other than windows on it apart from an apple.

  12. apexwm
    Thumb Down

    Microsoft still touting its products

    Time and time again Microsoft is about the only one touting Microsoft products. If you read carefully you will notice that close Microsoft allies have been publishing a large amount of articles recently that also try to degrade Linux. Why all of a sudden? Because Linux is being adopted more and more, and Microsoft is trying to find ways to keep it at bay. Microsoft has also recently picked up a lot of software patent threats and lawsuits. Google around and you will soon see what is going on. Personally, I would advise only reading articles published by real network admins or reporters that USE the software.

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