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New reference design had some minor bugs, but overall ran silky smooth

At Computex 2012 in Taiwan, Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), the largest chipmaker of licensed ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) designs, unveiled its Windows-On-ARM (WOA) push: the long rumored and leaked Snapdragon 4 development tablet.

Both The Verge and Engadget placed their paws on the Liquid Development Tablet and took the dual-core 1.5 GHz APQ8060A Snapdragon 4 processor and Release Preview build of Windows 8 RT through the paces.

The Verge reports:

Qualcomm was adamant that the system hadn't been fully optimized yet, and that statement rang true given the difficulty we had doing some bezel gestures, not to mention some memory management (open apps kept vanishing) and rendering issues here and there, but it's plenty neat to see this stuff running even at this early stage.

Engadget appears to have encountered less frustrations, writing:

The verdict? It's smooth as silk on a 1.5GHz dual-core APQ8060A with 2GB of RAM, which means it's likely to be even more impressive on the company's quad-core offering... Most interesting, however, was a demo of Vendetta Online which ran without hiccups even when multitasking along with other apps.

Based on the mixed reviews it appears the development platform is coming along nicely, but Qualcomm is still ironing out some firmware issues.  Rumor has it that WOA devices may largely take a rain check on the 2012 holiday season, shipping in mass in Q1 2013.

Qualcomm Liquid Development Tablet [Snapdragon 4] [Image Source: Engadget]

Snapdragon 4 is a much ballyhooed design and is expected to pop up in much of the WOA tablet and hybrid stock, as well as in high-end smartphones.  The chip is build on a 28 nm process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330).  Notably, it lacks an on-die LTE modem, but it is expected to add one in a slightly upgraded variant which will drop early next year.

Top x86 chipmaker Intel Corp. (INTC) has already started to talk trash about the WOA experience, saying it will be inferior to x86 Windows 8.  It has some computer makers like Acer Inc. firmly on its side, but many of the larger computer makers like Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) and Dell, Inc. (DELL) have reportedly expressed interest in WOA notebooks, hybrids, and tablets.

Sources: The Verge, Engadget

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By Smilin on 6/5/2012 4:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
"Most interesting, however, was a demo of Vendetta Online which ran without hiccups even when multitasking along with other apps."

This is only impressive if you're used to running an OS built for a phone. iOS users may be impressed but Windows and OSX users are yawning.

I've said that it will be a whole lot easier to get a full OS like Windows to run on thin hardware (which is advancing fast to meet them in the middle) than it will be to get iOS to actually have features. It took an update just to add copy paste back in the day!

RE: Meh
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2012 4:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
iOS is truly in the stone ages. It still doesn't have multitasking, because god forbid some idiot might forget an app is running and get poor battery life! We can't have that.

RE: Meh
By tayb on 6/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: Meh
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2012 6:37:19 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah you need to actually learn about what you are using. That is NOT a list of "open apps". But rather a list of "recently used apps". There is no way to manage background tasks in iOS, even when you want to. There is NO multitasking.

RE: Meh
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/5/2012 7:50:55 PM , Rating: 3
Come on! Facts aren't allowed around these parts when it comes to Apple! It's APPLE FFS! It's magical!

RE: Meh
By rs2 on 6/5/2012 9:04:48 PM , Rating: 3
I'd call it an illusion. Multitasking requires that two or more apps be resident in memory and executing on the CPU at the same point in time. iOS *does not* allow this in the general sense (there are some minor allowances made for things like streaming-audio apps, and other apps may request up to 10 minutes of background execution time). Instead an app "running" in the background does not run at all. Its processing is completely suspended until it becomes the foreground app again.

So, misleading UI that gives a naive/non-technical user the illusion of multitasking? Yes. Actual multitasking in the technical sense of the word? No, with minor exceptions.

RE: Meh
By tayb on 6/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: Meh
By tayb on 6/5/2012 9:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
And I'll expand on that by saying that the "frozen" apps typically launch much faster than standard apps. They are still consuming memory resources and will only be purged from memory if the system runs low and needs to free resources.

You can't even be bothered to read your own links which would have explained all this in even greater detail.

RE: Meh
By messele on 6/6/2012 2:07:23 AM , Rating: 1
Tayb is correct of course and simple consideration of the phone app alone would make you realise how ignorant you all are. Does iTunes run as a multitasking process if desired? Yes it does.

Since nearly all iOS apps are basically full screen in their operation isn't it desirable that Angry Birds is automatically paused when switching to Netflix and vice versa? Absolutley and there would be no point doing it any other way.

RE: Meh
By Smilin on 6/6/2012 1:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed iOS can multitask. It doesn't do true preemptive multitasking in all situations because it doesn't make sense. On a smartphone it will continue to not make sense.

On a tablet though it is necessary. The only reason it doesn't seem necessary is because iPads still use a UI about as sophisticated as Windows 3.1.

I *expect* my tablet to be able to put a web page and a word doc side by side and allow me to interract with both...all while playing some music in a 'background' app (like iOS can do)...and while updating all my live tiles...and...whatever else I want (say RDP session maintained in app not being displayed)

RE: Meh
By messele on 6/5/2012 5:07:20 PM , Rating: 1
iOS was launched with a limited feature set as the focus was on making sure the basics were efficient and bug free.

What relevancy does this have to the article in any case, why does every non-Apple article have to result in petty, ignorant digs?

RE: Meh
By Smilin on 6/6/2012 12:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
iOS was launched with a limited feature set as the focus was on making sure the basics were efficient and bug free.

No, it launched with a limited feature set because that's what it was capable of. Each release adds 'new' capabilities that are already present in Windows and OSX. The limited features matter little in a smartphone but for a tablet the ommisions are glaring. Think of one of the simplest tasks a PC/Mac does today: plug in a thumb drive and get data off of it. iOS still needs to add a circa 1994 usb stack before that can happen. A Windows 8 tablet won't have this challenge.


What relevancy does this have to the article in any case,

It's an article discussing tablets and an upcoming OS for them. iOS happens to be the #1 OS in this space. Here's something iOS *can* do that would be handy for you right now: add two plus two.

why does every non-Apple article have to result in petty, ignorant digs?

I gave no petty ignorant dig at Apple. You must have missed the fact I was talking about iOS and had nothing disparaging to say about OSX. Don't get all butthurt because I have a differing opinion about your precious.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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