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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 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.

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