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Intel CEO Paul Otellini.  (Source:
Intel: Android is too fragmented, Windows 8 ARM devices won't be compatible with legacy apps

Intel Corp. is having a busy week. 

We reported yesterday that Intel is prepping to roll out more than 35 Atom-based tablets by the end of the year, including a number for Google's Android OS. But, according to CNET, Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently called Android's fragmentation "chaos."

"Apple's objective is to control everything end to end so they can control the experience and the pricing," Otellini said at an Intel's investor. "Google's model is to get as broad a base as possible because, how do they get paid? They don't get paid by selling Android. They get paid by clicks. At the end of the day, the more pervasive Android is, the more money Google ultimately makes because advertising revenue can accrue from it."

Otellini added that the software is going through "growing pains," but that it will eventually be rectified. His hopeful tone was similar to that of NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's statements earlier in the week about Android's slowly being worked out.

Otellini compared Android's current state with Microsoft in the past, which ran on platforms such as DEC's Alpha, IBM's PowerPC, ARM, and MIPS "before settling predominantly on Intel's x86 architecture," CNET reported.

Speaking of Microsoft -- statements made by another top Intel exec have angered Microsoft. 

EWeek reported yesterday that Renee James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Software and Services Group, suggested during an investor meeting that Microsoft will make different versions of its upcoming “Windows 8” for Intel and ARM-based devices. The ARM-based devices, she said, won't be able to run legacy Windows apps, which were designed to run on Intel's x86.

"There will be four Windows 8 SoCs for ARM. Each one will run for that specific ARM environment, and they will run new applications or cloud-based applications," James said. "They are neither forward- nor backward-compatible between their own architecture – different generations of a single vendor – nor are they compatible across different vendors. Each one is a unique stack."

According to Business Insider, Microsoft was not happy about her statements. The company replied:

Intel’s statements during yesterday’s Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading. From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time.

The vagueness of Microsoft's statement means that James might have been at least partially correct. More details should be announced in September, at Microsoft's developer conference.

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RE: Load of BS
By Da W on 5/19/2011 11:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
True. Microsoft is moving away from "close to metal" code and it wants you to write for it's operating system, the OS will be the middleman between your app and whatever CPU is under the hood.

So Intel didn't say all wrong, only them will run x86 LEGACY applications on tablets. But who wants to run a program written in 1996 anyway? But i think any new apps written for Windows 8 will be forward compatible between Intel-ARM architecture.

RE: Load of BS
By StevoLincolnite on 5/19/2011 12:15:20 PM , Rating: 5
But who wants to run a program written in 1996 anyway?

I do!
Lots of games came out in Windows 9x era that I would love to run on an ARM tablet like:
* Duke Nukem 3D
* Command and Conquer.
* Master of Orion.
* MechWarrior.
* X-Com.
* Kings Quest.
* Doom.
* Wing Commander.
* Freespace.
* Jagged Alliance.

I think people forget how x86 has the largest game library over any other platform, it spans literally decades with thousands of titles, it makes the iOS platform look deserted in comparison.

On my Windows 7 tablet, Master of Orion 2 works rather well with touch controls, they don't make games like they used to unfortunately. :(
How many games can you look at today and think: I might play that in 10-20 years time? I cant think of many, most games don't have single player/offline re-playability like they used to.

RE: Load of BS
By nafhan on 5/19/2011 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
One word for you: virtualization! I'm thinking several of those games won't run at all straight from Win7 or any other modern OS.

RE: Load of BS
By lol123 on 5/19/2011 2:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Virtualization does not make x86 code run on ARM processors and it also does not make an ARM SoC an IBM compatible PC that would be able to run those games. Emulation is another story and I'm not sure that even games from 1996 would be able run at an acceptable frame rate on today's ARM processors under emulation.

RE: Load of BS
By Guspaz on 5/19/2011 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
Quake is from 1996. Quake should run perfectly fine with a high-performance x86 emulator on a modern ARM device.

DosBox runs Quake just fine, and runs on ARM, but is known for having very slow processor emulation (it's interpreted). QEMU is much faster, and you'd probably have better success there.

I suspect that 1996, though, is getting pretty close to the limitations of what's possible to fully emulate performance-intensive stuff on an ARM processor, but luckily you don't really need to... If you take a similar approach to what Apple did with Rosetta, you emulate the application itself, but translate to native API calls whenever possible. As such, you're only emulating a portion of all the code that's run, only the code the application itself executes. Anything that is handled by the OS is still handled by the OS. Not emulating the entire OS saves a lot of CPU time.

RE: Load of BS
By nafhan on 5/19/2011 4:15:25 PM , Rating: 2
True. I was more commenting on the guy directly above's post about running DOS and Win95 era games under Win7.

Anyway, I don't think emulating x86 will be a limiting factor IRT playing legacy games in the future. I think the real problem will be emulating outdated non-open source hardware API's like Glide, DirectX7, etc.

RE: Load of BS
By Reclaimer77 on 5/19/2011 12:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
How many games can you look at today and think: I might play that in 10-20 years time?

Pretty much anything made by Blizzard. Hell WoW is pushing 10 years old, and when it hit's it I'm sure there will still be like 11 million subscribers.

RE: Load of BS
By omnicronx on 5/19/2011 1:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree..

I'm pretty sure I could still play the original StarCraft and have more fun than most games out today ;)

RE: Load of BS
By Reclaimer77 on 5/19/2011 2:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
Oh hell ya, Lan party!

RE: Load of BS
By lol123 on 5/19/2011 2:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm backing you up on that 100%.

RE: Load of BS
By JediJeb on 5/19/2011 4:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could find a good emulator for the Xwing, Tie Fighter, XvT, games. Those were great and since my last DOS/W95 box died I haven't been able to get them to run on anything else :(

RE: Load of BS
By Reclaimer77 on 5/19/2011 7:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
Emulator? They won't run on XP or XP Compatibility mode?

RE: Load of BS
By mcnabney on 5/19/2011 12:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
You have MOO2 running on a tablet?

/highly jealous

RE: Load of BS
By mindless1 on 5/22/2011 11:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
Who wants to run a program from 1996? MOST PEOPLE!

Despite what you might have been mislead to believe because you hang out on tech sites with computer enthusiasts, the average computer user (most people) aren't upgrading their hardware and apps all the time, they run the same hardware till it fails and if the app they are used to using still serves the purpose (or else why would they have used it in the first place?) there is little reason to pay money (one way or the other, everything has its costs) or relearn a new interface just to run some newer thing because someone else assumes newer is automatically better.

On the contrary, if you run the oldest app that will get the job done you tend to have a simpler interface, less bloat, fewer security holes. Yes there are downsides such as when a feature you want isn't there, limits to memory allocation, poor use of modern monitor resolution screen space, etc. Even if these things matter 2/3rd of the time it doesn't justify buying the other 1/3rd of your apps over again till you *need* to, or even spending the time to hunt down freeware, install, test, migrate files, etc.

I just wish I had consolidated more of my 1996 apps, I'd be able to do 200 things with the same amount of hard drive space it now takes to do 5 things (apps). If and when I need something newer, I can add that too and not be concerned about the old apps because it's such a small % of HDD space, memory or CPU utilization. Oh, and their smaller codebase makes them more easily/quickly ran from removable media, USB thumbdrives and such.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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